So you’ve stuffed your face on hot cross buns and chocolate and you’ve still got room for more? Bring something new to the table and try one of these international Easter dishes. We’ve got ten gastronomical delights from around the world for you to feast on over the holidays:
Spain has many delicious dishes associated with celebrating Easter. From buñuelos, which are yeast balls flavoured with anise, to la mona de Pascua, a traditional Spanish cake which symbolises the end of Lenten fasting and is decorated with coloured eggs. If you prefer savoury to sweet then onion soup is another popular Spanish Easter dish. Still hungry for more? Try torrija, bread slices that are dipped in milk, honey, wine, various spices and eggs and eventually pan-fried.
Ok, so lamb may not be the most unusual Easter ingredient, but the Germans like theirs sweet as part of a hearty family brunch. Osterlamm, which translated means Easter lamb, forms the centre-piece for many holiday feasts across Germany. Other specially prepared brunch dishes include hefezopf (brioche), brightly painted hard-boiled eggs as well as a range of tasty stuffed omelettes.
3. Colomba Pasquale
During the Easter celebrations, families in Italy dig in to the famous holiday dish, Colomba Pasquale, meaning Easter dove. While the exact origins of this doughy treat are largely unknown, it is widely acceted that it first graced the baker’s oven in Milan. Similar to a Christmas Italian panettone, this high-rising bake is made using grated orange and lemon peel, almonds, raisins and candied fruits.
In Croatia, a fluffy loaf of pinca bread, similar to the German hefezopf, typically accompanies bolied ham, spring onions and radishes for a special Easter salad. Here, as in other eastern European countries, you’ll also find coloured hard-boiled eggs. Children enjoy competing with them in a simple game with friends and relatives over the Easter holidays. The aim is to smash the shell of their opponent’s egg and the proud owner of the last intact one wins.
5. Roast lamb
These four-legged bleaters make another appearance at the Easter feast, this time in England. Slow-roasted in the oven for several hours and accompanied by roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables and buckets of gravy, lamb is at the heart of any traditional English Easter dinner. Got more of a sweet tooth? Gorge yourself on Cadbury Creme Egg brownies, delicious and a firm family favourite; we promise that they’re calorie free too!
6. Kulich (Кули́ч)
A traditional Easter bread, kulich is a yeast muffin topped with sugar icing and found in Russia. However, it’s not just a sweet treat but often carries a religious message, decorated with icing writing that reads ‘Christ is risen’. Pas’cha (Пасха) is another famous Russian holiday delicacy consisting of cream butter, curd, sugar and eggs, but there are many other variations of this tasty cake recipe, including one that contains rum for the adults!
Here’s another baked goodie for you to try this Easter. As well as serving pasha, a variant of the Russian recipe, families celebrating in Poland like to munch on mazurek. This thin cake is made from different mouth-watering layers. The base is typically made of short crust pastry, followed by more levels of dough, jam, chocolate, roasted nuts and dried fruits. Poland’s specialty is the Easter cake, found in hundreds of shapes and flavours, so be prepared to go up a notch or two on your waistbelt!
8. Le Gigot d’Agneau Pascal
It’s a tough time for lambs around the world it would seem, as they make another appearance at the Easter dinner table in France. Le gigot d’agneau Pascal, a roasted leg lamb seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper, rosmary and olive oil, is the dish that many French families will be drooling over this Easter. If it’s not polished off immediately then it’s always great for sandwiches the next day.
A malt and orange pudding served with heaps of cream, sugar and vanilla sauce, you’ll want seconds of this famous Finnish Easter dish. Mämmi, takes hours to prepare and is traditionally stored in bowls made of birch wood. Typically eaten on Good Friday, it’s also enjoyed throughout the fasting period of Lent.
10. Chocolate Bilby
Forget Easter bunnies, especially if they’re destroying wildlife and damaging agricultural crops as many feral rabbits are in Australia. It’s all about the Easter bilby, an endangered Australian marsupial whose natural habitat is being destroyed by their floppy-eared foe. What began as an effort to raise awareness of conservation efforts, chocolate bilbies are now widely sold at Easter time and are a popular sweet treat.