Easter Traditional Food from Around the World
This page is all about the different foods eaten for Easter by different cultures the world over. But if you're looking for traditional Easter foods eaten in North America, you'll find tons of recipes and menus for them on my other pages here at Divine Dinner Party. If you're looking for more of a traditional Easter menu than worldwide foods, check out:
How Easter Traditions are SpreadSome of the more popular Easter traditional foods started in one area and then grew to be shared with other areas.
For instance, Crema Pasticcera is a light cream pastry that originated in Italy but now enjoys popularity worldwide... partly because Italian bakeries have spread to so many other places! Hot Cross Buns, known originally as cross buns, were fist mentioned in English street cries for sweet breads baked to sell on Easter Sunday. A cross is cut into the tops of these buns to remind church-goers of Jesus and his sacrifice. As the English moved around the world they carried the tradition of these buns with them. Today, Hot Cross Buns are typically found in most English speaking countries at Eastertime.
Easter Traditional Food Around the WorldSome foods for Easter celebrations have maintained their connection to a culture but are still enjoyed widely. Here are a few examples of traditional Easter foods by country and culture:
Greek Easter FoodsGreek Koullourakia, which are Easter cookies, are made with orange juice and topped with sesame seeds. Honey and nuts are very traditional Greek Easter foods-- they're widely available at Easter and are often used in desserts like Baklava, which is layers of phyllo dough (to represent the years of Christ's life) and crushed nuts with honey.
The Greek people also make traditional dishes for the main meal including roasted lamb with mint sauce and Mayiritsa Soup, a rice and lamb soup that uses the remaining pieces of a lamb killed on Good Friday for Saturday's meal. Another Easter traditional food in Greece is, of course, eggs! In Greece, Easter eggs are dyed red (to represent the blood of Christ) and placed in the Greek home for protection.
Italy Easter FoodsFor Easter, the region of Tuscany makes traditional cookies called the Florentine Love Knot Cookie. These are flavored with lemon and folded to look like a person in prayer. Italy is also known as the source of a wonderful traditional Easter pie, a ricotta based pie with creamy texture that is light and refreshing.
Pannetone (a fruit and nut bread) as well as Colomba (dove shaped bread) are Easter traditional foods in Italy, as well. Check our Italian Easter Dessert Recipes for some Italian recipes!
Russian EasterOne Easter traditional food in Russia is Kulich, a bread used in Russian religious ceremonies and holidays. This egg bread is baked up tall and narrow, and is dotted with bits of orange, almonds, raisins and saffron for flavor. Kulich is often served with paskha, an Easter dish made from fresh cottage cheese and other ingredients that are molded and then pressed to remove whey.
Brazilian Easter FoodsPacoca, a paste made by mixing crushed nuts and raw ingredients, is a special treat offered at Eastertime in nearly every home in Brazil. Clipfish, a white fish, and Easter ring cake are also traditional in the Brazilian Easter meal.
Easter Traditional Foods in SpainFor Easter, the Spanish mix bread, milk, eggs and honey from their pantry and fry the little pastries in olive oil. These tiny square pastries are served with various dips to change the flavor. Fish soups and asparagus with Spanish garlic mayonnaise are also typical Easter foods. Instead of the traditional Easter basket given in many parts of the world, the Spanish give their children figures, sculptures, or scenes carved from chocolate. These can get very intricate and expensive!
American Easter FoodsAmerica is a blend of many food traditions with strong cultural ties, but new habits develop even here. Lamb is usually served in European meals for Easter because it represents the sacrificial lamb of the first Passover of the Jewish people. Lamb also makes reference to Christ as the Lamb of God. In early times in North America we did not have much lamb, so chefs started using what was available to them at the time. Cured pork, typically as ham, begins to be ready around Easter and has become a favorite for American tables.
You can find recipes for many of the most popular Easter traditional foods right here at Divine Dinner Party!
Common Easter FoodsEaster Eggs. Other traditional Easter foods are known to be served nearly everywhere, like boiled eggs... but the origins aren't necessarily tied to a single region or tradition. Eggs were often forbidden during Lent and thus were particularly tasty after 40 days without them. Ancient cultures used eggs as a symbol of rebirth and spring. When those people converted to Christianity they brought that symbol with them at Easter celebrations to represent the renewal of Christ.
Easter Breads. Another common Easter tradition all over the world is formed or twisted bread. Nearly every culture shares some form of twisted bread made to look like a person praying in spiritual reverence, or to symbolize a religious element of Easter.
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