So you might be wondering what the Italians do for Easter....
As a tradition, the local churches in the "Paese" will have different events in the church. Reconciliation is normally done throughout the week. The Sunday starts with Palm Sunday where people bring their palms or olive branches and the Priest blesses them and they are kept in the home, work or car. Some bring extras and give the palms to family and friends who may be less religious! Through the week leading up to Easter Sunday, different services are delivered. Normally on Good Friday, a Stations of the Cross ceremony is performed where the Priest will go through the events leading up to Jesus’ death and on the Sunday, he rises and the celebration begins.
On Good Friday it is tradition not to eat meat while some even take it further and fast completely.
So on Good Friday, the contemporary tradition is to have a meal consisting of seafood. While the Sunday, when Jesus has risen, the mourning is over and the real celebration of food, wine and sweets begins.
The pasqua lunch normally consists of a long lunch with vegetables that are in season such as artichokes, fav beans, spinach as well octopus salads - more commonly found on the coast of Italy.
For a second, the traditional chosen meat is lamb. Lovely rosemary infused roasted lamb, cutlets on a char grill are popular amongst the children.
As a desert, to keep the traditional strong, chocolate in the from of eggs are given and hidden around the garden and house for the kids to search and retrieve! Let me set the scene of what my family back in Italy will be doing on Easter Sunday.... An outdoor wooden table, worn perfectly though weather and hundreds of memories made from food and family gatherings, laughter and fun! With the older male members of the family sitting around the table, playing briscola ( an Italian card game) and the wives and grand mothers in the kitchen chatting as they take care of the dishes.
The in betweeners will be gathered around another table or gone for a little passeggiata (casual walk) down the Corso or Piazza. The little kids are in the garden playing and finding their eggs. Such a beautiful scene and not only will this be happening within my family but will be played out throughout Italy and amounts the Italians who migrated far and wide around the globe, especially here in Australia!
Nothing nicer than seeing generations together - memories are made and kept for life!
Easter Monday is another stonemark eating / public holiday event. It is known as La Pasquetta where traditionally, the left overs from the day before are reheated or turned into different dishes and enjoyed normally at a picnic with friends and family. Back in the old days, nothing was wasted and minimal waste is the aim in any Italian kitchen!
Easter Monday is also known for the Easter Egg games - your probably wondering the symbolic meaning of an egg - well it symbolises fertility, renewal and life which ties in perfectly with the whole meaning of Easter!
Some regions have a tradition of a breakfast consisting of sweet breads, cheeses and salumi (cured meats). A glass of morning wine is also common with this Easter breakfast feast!
There are two types of cake that is given over the two biggest religious events in Italy. Easter (Pasqua) and Christmas (Natale).
During Easter, the Colomba di Pasqua is given as a gift to families while during Christmas, the more commonly known, Panettone is offered.
The shape of a Colomba di Pasqua is normally in the shape of a dove.
Unfortunately this season Pappardelle Pantry will not be selling Colomba Di Pasqua however next Easter be sure to visit Pappardelle Pantry for your, very Italian Easter offering !
Buona Pasqua Tutti!