Easter Desserts From Around the World
No Easter dinner or brunch is complete without dessert. It’s the best part of the meal! In many cultures, Easter is one of the biggest holidays. As a result, each culture has many of their own traditions, including special desserts that are typically served on their Easter tables. This year, why not break away from your own traditions and try one of these?
In the Russian Orthodox tradition, Pashka actually means “Easter”. This molded cheese dessert is served at Easter in countries such as Russia, Lithuania, Poland, and the Ukraine. The sweet cheese is either shaped with a special mold that features religious symbols and engravings, or it’s molded by hand into religious symbols using edibles like slivered almonds.
Colomba di Pasqua
This dessert, also known as the “Easter Dove”, has a flavor that is very similar to Panetone, the traditional Italian bread that is served at Christmas. Using a special mold, the Colomba (which means “dove” in Italian) is formed into shapes reminiscent of the bird. If you don’t have a mold, you can form the shape with your hands.
During Easter, Greeks serve loaves of a traditional bread, called Tsoureki. Similar in flavor and texture to a French brioche, Tsoureki is normally spiced with mahleb, a sweet spice that is readily available in Greece. People who can’t find mahleb often substitute cinnamon. Tsoureki usually has a red Easter egg baked in the center. In the Greek culture, the eggs are dyed red to symbolize Christ’s blood and the egg is symbolic of His tomb.
This sweet bread is served in Eastern Europe in countries like Croatia and Slovenia only on Easter. Just before baking, the sign of the cross is etched on the top, to remind people of why they celebrate Easter in the first place. Even though it is sweet and can be served as a dessert, it’s actually eaten on Easter morning with breakfast.
Hot cross buns are served all year in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and in the Caribbean. However, they’re a special favorite during Easter. These sweet rolls have a flavor that is very similar to brioche and they are typically served on Good Friday. They get their name because a cross is etched on the top. Some people form the cross before it is baked; others do so with icing after it comes out of the oven.
During Easter, the people of Brazil enjoy this traditional peanut candy. It has a similar texture to Middle Eastern halva. However, the ingredients are slightly different. For example, almonds are typically used in the Middle East because peanuts aren’t widely available. It’s typically served during parades, especially at Easter. Manioc flour is also called cassava flour, so you can look for either term on the label.