Planning to spend Easter in Europe? In the Europe Easter is one of the major Christian festivals of the year. It is full of customs, folklore and traditional food. Easter is a time of year that is deeply connected with food traditions. We eat very specific foods only at this time of year.
In Italy it is almost mandatory to have agnello or lamb as the main course for the Easter meal, and depending on the region, it can be served in various ways. In Abruzzo agnello cacio e uovo is cooked in an egg, pepper and cheese sauce.
Traditional desserts for the Holy feast are the Cassata Siciliana, a sponge cake with ricotta filling; the colomba, a dove-shaped cake with candied fruit and almonds; and pasticiotti, little pastry tarts filled with custard.
As with many national holidays it is a French tradition to have a family meal at Easter. Often this will include lamb as the main course which is a symbol of spring and new life. Usually, dessert is chocolate-based and, as with all good French meals, there is a cheeseboard.
La Mona de Pascua is the customary cake prepared for Easter (Semana Santa), especially in the regions of Catalonia and Valencia. Many consider this colorful cake to be a delicious end to Lent, as well as a symbol of spring, welcoming the sunny weather that comes ahead. La Mona de Pascua cakes were originally made up of marzipan and topped with boiled eggs, since many dedicated Catholics would give up meat or eggs during Lent. It is a traditional practice for godparents to give this cake to their godchildren.
For the main meal on Easter Sunday in England, roast lamb is served with mint sauce and vegetables. Lamb symbolizes Christ, who is known as "the Lamb of God". Hot cross buns, now eaten throughout the Easter season, were first baked in England to be served on Good Friday. These small, lightly sweet yeast buns contain raisins or currants and sometimes chopped candied fruit. Before baking, a cross is slashed in the top of the bun. After baking, a confectioners' sugar icing is used to fill the cross.
On Ostersonntag (Easter Sunday), the whole family gathers together to celebrate with a festive Easter dinner.The main dish is often lamb, since it represents innocence and humility, and carries further religious meaning in many Christian traditions. Afterwards, the family eats cake that was baked in a lamb-shaped cake mold.