After a long sultry summer here in Perth, it seems we all love these spectacular autumn days. It is especially welcoming knowing that the Easter holidays are around the corner.
This weekend some families around the country shall celebrate the Christian holiday of Easter, while others will celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover. The Orthodox will celebrate Easter the following week.
Food and Easter go hand in hand.
In Australia we associate Easter with Hot Cross Buns. These are yeast dough buns with currants and raisins in them. Originally, they were eaten all year round in the pagan, pre-Christian times, the buns represented the moon and the four quarters, the four seasons. The Christians took over this delicious tradition and changed the meaning, so the cross represented the cross that Jesus died on.
We also love the Easter Bunny whereby he hides eggs, chocolates and other sweets for children to find on Easter morning. The Easter Bunny was probably developed from a German celebration of spring (being in the northern hemisphere) as eggs are an almost world-wide symbol of fertility and beginning of life.
At Passover, the matzoh is a staple at all seders. The unleavened bread reminds those at the seders that their ancestors did not have time to let their bread rise before fleeing Egypt. Jewish families get together and eat foods that represent the Exodus story. It represents the hurry linked to the slaves’ escape. They did not have time to let their bread rise before baking it.
Orthodox Christians traditionally celebrate Easter by blessing food baskets. In Greece, people colour hard-boiled eggs and play a game by knocking them together. They eat lamb and party into the late night.
No matter what your culture or religion you come from, it seems we all love Easter and the foods it has to offer.
Happy Easter and happy cooking from the Taste Budds team!