This time, our traditional #awalkwithmarco falls on Easter Sunday: the perfect time to wish you a HAPPY EASTER, from me, no… from all of us!
There are so many of you ladies out there (and so many men as well: we know partners, husbands and brothers read these imaginary escapades of ours as well) that maybe not all of you celebrate Easter – indeed, there are plenty of non-Christian or non-Jewish countries in the world…
Well, to kill two birds with one stone (or should I say “Easter bunnies”?!), today we’re going to take a trip in our imagination: instead of going to the lake as I promised, or dwelling on the concept of Easter, celebration and resurrection, we’re going to take a more pedestrian tour of Italian (gastronomic, of course) traditions. In short, Easter and its traditions are an excuse to tell you about something great…
Let’s start in the North, Liguria to be precise: today on the table we have the famous Torta pasqualina, or Easter Pie, a quiche made of vegetables (artichokes or Swiss chard), a traditional, slightly acidic cheese, and hard-boiled egg (to be left whole inside, like a treasure). Tradition has it that the puff pastry has 33 layers, to represent the years of Jesus’s life. I don’t want to come across as disrespectful, but I’d be happy with a simple frozen shortcrust pastry ;)
Let’s continue the tour, stopping off now in Tuscany, where some still carry out the “blessed eggs” tradition: on Easter morning, the children of the household bring hard-boiled eggs to church to be blessed by the priest… at lunchtime they end up on the table and, well, on our plates ;)
But do you know why the egg (real or chocolate, with a painted shell or hidden in sweet or savoury cakes) is a symbol of Easter? Probably because during Lent – a period of fasting during which neither meat nor eggs were eaten, although the hens continued churning them out – they were preserved, often boiled for such a long time that they became as hard as rocks. Well that’s what my grandmother used to tell me… it could be true, couldn’t it?
Any tour of Easter cuisine cannot miss out on the infamous Pastiera Napoletana: a cake with a rich filling of ricotta cheese, wheat and candied fruit, flavoured with orange blossom water. The many variations include a version with chocolate drops – well, it did seem a little light ;))
Now it’s time for me to stop and take my place at the table ;) Wishing you a fantastic Sunday, Easter or not, gastronomically indulgent or in the midst of a diet; just as long as it’s relaxing, enjoyable and packed full of optimism!
Lots of love,