Global Culture: Easter Eggs
Easter is celebrated far and wide, its two thousand year history cultivating a number of fascinating and diverse traditions that span the globe.
The Easter egg, often representing hope and new beginnings, is of course one of the most widely recognised Easter symbols of all. Here are our favourite examples of Easter egg traditions from three countries that fuse culinary creativity with colour, perfect for an uplifting food or craft experience over the Easter break.
Tsoureki is a brioche-type bread that is baked at Easter, often as a gift from children to the godparents.
Hard-boiled eggs are cooked in great quantities of food colouring to create a rich red that represents the blood of Christ in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Church tradition.
The bread is finished in a straight plait or curved into a crown - a highly symbolic and heartfelt treat.
The traditional decoration of Easter Eggs in Ukraine is pysanky, a method of handpainting raw eggs using molten beeswax to paint on folk motifs, passed down the generations.
Colours and patterns are built up in layers, sealing each colour separately with further beeswax detailing along the way.
Heating the wax to gently wipe it away reveals the final design. Wonderful!
Coloured hard-boiled eggs form part of the Easter feast in Egypt, eaten alongside green onions, fermented fish, lettuce and chickpeas - always outdoors (partly to celebrate Spring, and partly to diffuse the smell of the fish!).
Dyes are created from vegetation and spices like turmeric, onion skins, hibiscus, beetroot and red cabbage, often applying leaves to the egg surface before dying to create intricate patterns.
The perfect activity for a food demo always enables interaction and audience participation as well as lasting inspiration and attention to detail. We hope this sparks some ideas for your next cookery demonstration or food event, in the fascinating context of food history and global culture.
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