Easter in Italy
Easter in Italy is a huge holiday and celebrated with great pomp and splendor. According to studies approximately 67% of the country is Catholic. But apart from the religious significance of the holiday, Italians also view Easter as a celebration of the arrival of spring and the start of a new season. It's a day to spend with family and to eat delicious food.
So, what exactly do Italians eat for Easter in Italy? Let's take a closer look.
What Italians Eat for Easter in Italy
Easter Sunday is a day for feasting, and Italians spare no effort in creating a sumptuous meal to celebrate the occasion. Here are some of the traditional dishes that are served on Easter in Italy.
Lamb is the centerpiece of the Easter feast in Italy, and it symbolizes the sacrifice of Christ. The lamb is often roasted whole, and it is seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and other herbs to give it a delicious flavor.
Artichokes are a popular vegetable in Italy, and they are a common side dish served with the Easter meal. They are often cooked with garlic, parsley, and lemon to give them a zesty flavor.
Pizza Rustica is a traditional Easter dish that is similar to a quiche. It is made with a pastry crust and filled with cheese, eggs, and various types of meat, such as ham, sausage, and bacon.
Colomba Pasquale is a traditional Easter cake that is shaped like a dove, which symbolizes peace. It is made with flour, sugar, eggs, and butter, and it is often flavored with candied fruit and almonds.
Pastiera Napoletana is a traditional Easter dessert that originates from Naples. It is a sweet pastry made with ricotta cheese, wheat berries, eggs, and sugar, and it is often flavored with orange blossom water and vanilla.
Easter eggs are a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings, and they are a popular gift during the Easter period in Italy. They are often made with high-quality chocolate and decorated with colorful patterns and designs.
Is Easter a big holiday in Italy?
Yes, Easter is a very important holiday in Italy, both from a religious and cultural perspective.
Why is lamb such a popular Easter dish in Italy?
Lamb is a popular Easter dish in Italy because it symbolizes the sacrifice of Christ, who is often referred to as the 'Lamb of God' in the Bible.
What is the significance of Colomba Pasquale?
Colomba Pasquale is a traditional Easter cake that is shaped like a dove, which symbolizes peace and new beginnings.
What is the difference between Pastiera Napoletana and other Easter desserts?
Pastiera Napoletana is a sweet pastry made with ricotta cheese and wheat berries, which gives it a unique texture and flavor that sets it apart from other Easter desserts.
Are there any other traditional Easter dishes in Italy?
Yes, there are many other traditional Easter dishes. As you explore the country you'll find that each region has its own unique characteristics and special occasion foods.
For example, in Calabria it's common for families to make pasta al forno or meatballs. These are foods Calabrians make for many special occasions.
Easter in Calabria, Italy
Calabria is a region in southern Italy famous for foods like Calabrian peppers (peperoncini calabrese), onions from Tropea (cipolla di tropea), jarred foods (sott'olio), cured olives, and olive oil.
The food from the region is usually a bit on the heavy side. However, it's delicious!
Pasta al Forno
This is without a doubt one of the best Italian dishes. Pasta al forno is similar to baked zitti. It's made with a large type of pasta, ragu, mini meatballs, salsiccia, fried eggplant, and hard boiled eggs. the last two ingredients are optional, however, that's the way our family makes it.
Pasta al forno is often made during Christmas. It's definitely a heavier food well suited for keeping you full during the colder months. However, a lot of Italians will bring it to the beach for a picnic since it transports well!
Frissurata is a Calabrian spiced pork that's cooked in its own fat and spices for several hours. It's juicy, spicy, and when done cooking falls off the bone.
You won't find this dish anywhere else in Italy. It's usually made in January when they slaughter the pig, however, it's considered a cold weather day that can be eaten during Easter if the weather is still cool enough.
Get the full recipe.
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