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Easter Food Traditions Around the World

Spring is in the air; the flowers and trees are coming into bloom and the supermarket shelves are crammed with Easter eggs ready for all the excited children to open on Easter Sunday. With the long Easter weekend only a few days away, here at The Fenny Kitchen we are gearing up for one of the busiest weekends of the year.

A good hearty roast dinner has long been a traditional part of the Easter celebrations and it’s when family and friends come together to celebrate. Therefore, we are excited to be offering Lamb Kleftiko from Good Friday until Easter Monday; which is simply seasoned slow-cooked Lamb Shanks served with potatoes or rice along with a choice of roast vegetables or broccoli and kale. Is your mouth watering yet?

Countries around the world all celebrate Easter very differently to the UK; serving up their own traditional dishes; therefore, we thought we would look at what food the different cultures enjoy eating at this special time of year.

UK Along with Christmas, Easter is one of the most important religious holidays of the year and here in the UK; we celebrate it by decorating and making chocolate eggs along with eating hot cross buns and simnel cake. Simnel cake is a light fruit cake eaten during the pre-Easter period and is two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top. The top layer then has a circle of eggs made of the same paste on the top and is lightly browned under the grill.

Russia Easter in Russia is celebrated two weeks after Easter Sunday and on the night before Easter, churches across Russia hold solemn night-time services that run into the Sunday morning. After the service, a traditional Russian rich, panettone like bread called Kulich is taken to the church to be blessed by the priest. People then enjoy it throughout the day with a slice of Pashka; which is a sweet cheesecake-like dessert made from cottage cheese, dried fruits and other ingredients that are forbidden during lent.

Spain Since the 15th century, it has been traditional in Catalonia for godfathers to take beautiful cakes adorned with feathers called ‘La Mona de Pasqua’ to their godsons and goddaughters on Easter Monday. They were originally topped with boiled eggs to represent the age of the child (up until their first communion) but they now use chocolate eggs along with brightly coloured feathers, yellow chicks and glacé fruit. The bakeries and cake shops compete to make the most impressive cakes, which are then featured in local newspapers. As eggs are traditionally forbidden during lent, they are hard boiled to avoid wastage and then feasted on during Easter as well as being made into a savoury meat and egg pie called Hornazo.

Italy Easter is an exciting time to visit Italy as there are many grand processions held in the towns and cities. In Florence it is celebrated with the Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart), where a large wooden cart is dragged into the middle of the city’s old square and becomes the centre point for a spectacular fireworks display. Easter Sunday is the start of the celebrations and Torta Pasqualina (spinach and ricotta pie) is a firm favourite and has whole eggs baked inside the pie.

Cyprus Cypriots have the tradition of eating Flaouna bread for their religious holidays which is also known as Easter or Ramadan bread. It is a cheese and mint stuffed bread that is typically eaten at breakfast with a strong cup of coffee and is often accompanied by olives, cheese and tomatoes.

Sweden The Swedes have an unusual Swedish tradition called Påskkärringar; where the day before Easter Sunday the children dress up as witches in old raggedy clothes and walk around the neighbourhood, asking for sweets in exchange for their homemade paintings. Easter Sunday in Sweden is commonly celebrated with a feasting table of eggs, pickled herring and some people also eat roast lamb; the same as the UK. The most popular tradition during Easter is the delicious almond and cream-filled Semla bun and the bakeries compete to produce the best Semla bun.

Brazil With the largest Catholic population in the world, Easter in Brazil is a very important time of year but actually falls in the autumn due to its geographical location. It is celebrated with processions, carnivals and open-air events and each region has its own style of cooking. However, there are a number of foods that are enjoyed throughout the country including a delicious peanut sweet called Paçoca which is traditionally eaten on Good Friday and they enjoy Bacalhau (salt cod) dishes on Easter Sunday.

It is always great to experiment with your cooking and try something different at Easter, but if you want to take a break from cooking and let someone else cook, come on down to The Fenny Kitchen and enjoy some of our mouth-watering Lamb Kleftiko with your family and friends. It is available from Good Friday through to Easter Monday; although on Easter Sunday we will be booking for two seating times at 2pm and 5pm. We look forward to welcoming you.

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