Easter is a time of celebration. It’s celebrated across the World with many traditions spanning centuries. It is also a time to spend with family and friends and a fun time for children and some adults with the mass production of Easter eggs, Easter egg hunts, bonnet making and, of course, the Easter Bunny!
As part of Feastforfamines’ philosophy to celebrate food from all corners of the world, I’d like to share with you some of the lovely foodie traditions that have been passed on to me. There are new recipes to enjoy as well, such as an Afghan twist on one of my own traditions – roast lamb Inspired by Afghanistan: Spiced Slow Cooked Lamb, Carrot, Almond, Tumeric and Sultana Rice with Carrot Yogurt
So let’s start with Spain and a dessert that my friend Victoria tells me is synonymous with Easter – ‘Torrijas’. Torrijas are a cross between Eggy Bread and French Toast, which means you could also enjoy these as a lovely Easter Brunch too. Have a look at how to make these delicious treats here: https://youtu.be/iRaAEmyY6ig
My friend Angela has said that in Poland, Easter is bigger than Christmas when it comes to celebrating, and it sounds like they have a huge amount of fun. Easter greeting cards are sent, children turn their hands to egg painting , lambs made from sugar adorn family tables and there are no shortage of water fights!! Festive Easter dishes include Babka Bread and a wonderful Polish cheesecake which I have on good authority tastes even better if you add some booze soaked cherries on top. You can find Angela’s favourite cheesecake recipe here: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/41676/polish-style-vanilla-cheesecake.aspx
Over to Russia where Sasha has told me that, like in many other parts of the World, fasting is a common practice at this time. Here, it culminates in much eating of the cake Paskha, a cheesecake made using traditional moulds. Have a look at one way of making it here: https://www.whats4eats.com/desserts/paskha-recipe There is also a creative tradition here too, with eggs dyed in vibrant colours and cookies decorated .
In Portugal, my friend Cesar tells me that some families cook ‘Cabrito’, a roasted goat dish, which brings to mind my own memories of Easter as a child. A variation of this recipe may use lamb instead of goat and can be stewed in red wine, rather than roasting. It’s also enjoyed at Christmas time. If you’d like to read more about it, have a look here: https://catavino.net/recipes/portuguese-recipe-cabrito-assado-roasted-goat/
Children still enjoy Easter Eggs in Portugal, but they also like to share sugared almonds and ‘torroes’, which are coloured sugar cubes. Cesar likes to prepare a crab mousse for him and his family at this time of year. It’s a simple dish but takes a lot of time, so a perfect treat when you have a long weekend to cook, he combines all the meat from the crab with boiled eggs and pickles and I was also luckily enough try it this weekend, it was delicious!
Speaking of crab, but moving to a warmer climate, my friend Nathalie tells me there is a wonderful tradition in Martinique where a crab dish called Matoutou is made and taken to share on the beach. The recipe involves cooking a whole crab with rice, chives, onions, garlic, tomatoes, allspice leaves, chilli pepper, lemon, cloves and a spice called Colombo powder, all left to simmer until cooked. In Martinique crab is such a popular dish at this time of year they also hold a Crab Fair in Le Vauclin.
Now for my own memories of sweet Easter Treats. Did any of you ever make those little Easter nests at school? Or at home? I still make them now with my daughter. They’re easy to prepare, cute and delicious.
I also like to make biscuits and cookies around this time, and recently made Easter Bunnies with Hazelnut Noses. You can find the recipe here: https://wordpress.com/post/feastforfamine.blog/397
I think that most people would agree there is a lot of chocolate consumed at Easter time! But did you know that the Ivory Coast is one of the biggest producers of the cocoa bean in the World? I decided to have a go at making some sweet treats inspired by the Ivory Coast a recipe which I will share with you all soon!
So spring is here, the Easter egg hunt is on and whatever your traditions are at this time of year, I hope you have fun cooking some amazing treats this weekend.