A taste of Greek Easter
Photo: Γιώργος Δρακόπουλος | www.kathimerini.gr
After the egg cracking, it’s time for the traditional magiritsa! This dish contains the offal of the lamb just before it is roasted, along with some green vegetables (lettuce, dill and onion) boiled together. It is traditional to eat magiritsa because it symbolizes the end of the 40-day fast Greek Orthodox people have right before this day in order to mourn the death of Jesus. This feast of drinking and eating lasts till the early hours, sleeping only to get up and make the Easter Sunday lunch.
Easter Sunday: The skewering of the lamb
The Easter Sunday is another day to celebrate. Families gather again before noon to roast the lamb on a spit and then enjoy a long lunch with lots of meat, potatoes, salads and drinks. The custom of skewering comes from the Jewish traditions. The Jews even painted the entrance of their houses with the blood of the sacrificial lamb, as a representation of the night of their departure from Egypt. The sacrificial lamb is then made into a spear (it is roasted on a spit) and symbolizes the “lamb” of God who was sacrificed for humanity.
Tsoureki of Thessaloniki: The must of Easter
If anything cannot be missing from the Easter table, this is definitely tsoureki with the red egg… or without it! A real advertisement for the city and its gastronomy which is consumed as the most characteristic dessert of Easter and Thessaloniki. The traditional sweet bread, which is prepared throughout the year, symbolizes the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the flour “comes to life” and “transforms” into bread.
Undoubtedly, the most famous version during Easter is the braid, with the red egg. However, apart from the classic buns that are prepared with the traditional recipe, in many small and large confectioneries of the city you can find buns with coatings or stuffed with chestnut, praline or chocolate.
For the adventurous, Easter is a good opportunity to…raid the kitchen! Just follow the instruction step-by-step and the fluffy buns for Easter will be on your table!