With Easter almost upon us, we thought we’d take a look at traditional Easter foods around the world. Many cultures have the equivalent of our simnel cake, sweet desserts made with candied peel and nuts.
In Russia, the seasonal dish is a dessert called ‘pashka’, made from curd cheese, almonds, honey and dried fruit. It has a texture a bit like a soft cheesecake and is normally served with slices of sweet bread. Traditional decoration involves religious symbols picked out in almonds or dried fruit.
In Croatia, you’ll get blank stares if you ask for a ‘hot cross bun’ – but they do have their own version similar version, which is ‘pinca’. This is one large, sweet loaf made with raisins, and marked on top with a cross cut into the dough.
The Italian ‘columba di pasqua’, or ‘sweet dove’, is a sweet doughy bread-like cake a bit like pannetone. It’s made with candied peel, and traditionally shaped roughly into the form of a dove.
Over to Greece now, and their version of an Easter cake is tsoureki, a sweet brioche-like bread made with candied peel and ground almonds. A slight twist here is that traditional decoration consists of halved boiled eggs, painted red to symbolise the blood of Christ – hmmm, not sure about that to be honest, we prefer our Easter eggs made from chocolate! Although the Spanish might be more on board with the idea – their own version, called ‘mona di pascua’ or Easter cake, resembles a sponge doughnut with a baked-in filling. One of the filling choices is chocolate, but the other is – yup – hard boiled eggs, held in with a cross of pastry.
In Brazil, you’ll find yourself being offered ‘pacoca di amendoim’, a type of sweet that’s a cross between peanut brittle and fudge. ‘Pacoca’ comes from a Portuguese word meaning ‘crumbly’, and ‘amendoim’ is ‘peanut’. Made from peanuts, cassava flour, condensed milk and sugar, it’s eaten cut into bars like fudge.
If you’re planning a family meal out over the Easter weekend, we can’t promise any hard boiled eggs on the menu! We can promise, though, lots of deliciously-cooked, fresh choices including game pie, local beef and Goosnargh duck. We’ve also got the Arboretum on our doorstep, complete with daffodils and perfect for that post or pre lunch walk. Give us a call to book a table, and we look forward to seeing you soon.