Easter is around the corner, and for many people that means elaborate ham or lamb dishes, delicious deviled eggs, and tons of chocolate. Different countries have their staple foods used to celebrate this holiday. Here’s a look at some desserts from around the world:
Hot Cross Buns: These buns are popular in North America but they originated in the UK. Currants and raisins are added to the buns and a cross is frosted across the top of them. Fun fact: the cross used at first to honor the four corners of the moon, but has now come to symbolize Jesus’ crucifixion. (image:butterfloureggs.com)
Capirotada: Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding traditionally eaten during Lent and is typically made with cinnamon, cloves, cheese, raisins, cane sugar, and bread. Nuts, seeds, and dried or fresh fruit can be added as well. The dish has a lot of religious symbolism – the bread represents the body of Christ, the syrup his blood, the cinnamon sticks are the wooden cross, and the cloves are the nails on the cross.
Paçoca: or Paçoca de Amendoim is a Brazilian Easter dessert made with crushed peanuts, cassava flour, and sugar. It supposedly tastes like the inside of a Reese’s peanut butter cup and is handed out during procession walks. (image: flickr)
Colomba Pasquale: It translates literally to “Easter Dove” and the Italian cake is very much made to look like one. The dough is made of flour, eggs, sugar, natural yeast and butter, shaped like a dove, topped with almonds and pearl sugar, and then baked. The shape of the dove signifies the peace of Christ.
Paskha: This Russian dessert is made primarily of cheese (farmer’s and cottage), foods forbidden during lent. Paskha can be eaten cooked or uncooked, and decorated with candied nuts, flowers, or fruits. Traditionally, it is inscribed with religious symbols including the letters XB – Cyrillic script for “Christ is Risen”. (image: the hungariangirl.com)
Pinca: This is a traditional Croatian Easter sweet bread. As with hot cross buns, a cross is carved into the top of the bread before baking. Lemon or orange zest or dried fruit can be added to the rolls that are given as a sign of good wishes.
Koulouria: These are Greek Easter cookies made with a butter-based dough and sweet vanilla (although flavor variations can be made) and a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top. Traditionally, they are baked in an “S” shape, although nowadays, the dough can be braided or twisted into different shapes before baking. (image: kalofagas.ca)
Torrijas: Torrijas are a Spanish dessert usually eaten during Lent. It is very similar to French Toast – a slice of bread is soaked in milk or wine with honey, dipped in egg, and then pan fried.