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Thursday, April 17, 2014

More Easter Foods

As is the case with many of our holidays, Easter is steeped in tradition--many of which have to do with food.  Most of the foods we traditionally eat at Easter--from eggs to ham to candy--are full of symbolism and religious meaning.

If you're interested, you can read some of the things I've written previously about Easter food.  Click here to read about our common Easter food and why they're so appropriate for the season.  And click here to read about Easter candy!

Here are a few lesser-known Easter traditions (to us, anyway) from around the world.

  • In the United Kingdom, they make something called Easter Simnel.  It's basically a fruitcake topped with 12 marzipan balls that represent the 12 apostles.  I guess it's not a holiday there without fruitcake!
  • Instead of chocolate bunnies, in Australia, they sometimes have chocolate bilbies.  The bilby is a very endangered marsupial native to the country.  They actually compete with rabbits--introduced to the country a couple of centuries ago--for food and habitat.  And the bunnies are winning.  So the Easter Bunny isn't very welcome Down Under, I suppose.
  • A blend of the best local beers, called Paskelbrygg, was started in 1934 in Norway during the Easter season (not sure what the connection is).  Conservative Christian groups protested and it died away a bit until after WWII, when it resurfaced and still is popular today.
  • Colomba Pasquale is a sweet bread made in the rough shape of a dove for the Easter holiday in Italy.  It is coated in almonds and coarse sugar.  
  • A Russian Easter dessert, paskha, is made primarily from cream cheese, cottage cheese and dried fruit.  It's made in a pyramid shape and traditionally has the Cyrillic symbols for "Christ has risen" written in icing.
  • Visit Brazil during Easter and you'll probably find something called pacoca de amendoim (often just called pacoca, which could be confusing since there's a meat dish of the same name).  It's made from crushed peanuts, sugar and cassava flour.  Think the inside of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  Yum!
So there are just a few more Easter foods for you to sink your teeth into.  Enjoy your holiday!