Traditional Polish Easter menu
Poland is known for its rich Easter tradition. Because of this, Polish Easter menu is very carefully composed - and it contains many dishes. The Easter breakfast is the absolute essential here. That’s when so-called święconka is consumed - that is, the food blessed in a basket by a priest a day before - on Holy Saturday. Such Easter food is consumed with special sour rye soup and a bit of horseradish. This dish is the most popular Easter food in Poland.
You can make a sourdough starter for rye soup yourself - it’s easy. It should be prepared early enough - at least a week before Easter. You need the following ingredients:
- 5-6 tablespoons rye flour,
- 550-600 ml boiled water,
- 3-4 garlic cloves,
- a couple of bay leaves,
- a couple of allspice balls,
- a piece of bread,
- a large jar,
- a clean cloth,
- a rubber band.
Pour flour and water into the jar, add chopped garlic cloves, bay leaves and allspice. Mix everything together, cover the jar with the cloth and use the rubber band to secure it.
Stir the mixture once a day - use a wooden spoon. If the fermentation is slow, and you cannot smell a sour fragrance at all - add a piece of bread. Taste the starter after a few days - if it’s sour, pour it into a glass bottle and put it in the fridge to prevent spoiling.
Polish Easter food - savory
In addition to rye soup, a Polish Easter wouldn’t be the same without other Easter foods - served after the breakfast. Take a look at the list:
- eggs in different forms - usually with mayonnaise and chives,
- white sausage - boiled or baked, cut into smaller pieces,
- rabbit pâté,
- homemade, boiled ham with horseradish,
- vegetable salad,
- a potato bake,
- dzionie rakowskie - a type of traditional blood sausage prepared in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship,
- horseradish soup - krzonówka - prepared in Lesser Poland Voivodeship,
- meat jelly - zylc - a Kashubian delicacy, it’s an obligatory dish in Easter menu,
- pickled beetroot borscht - an Easter meal eaten in Podlasie.
Sweet Easter dishes from Poland
Apart from savory meals, sweet Easter foods and snacks are obligatory items on every Polish table during Easter. This part of Easter menu consists of traditional treats such as:
- Easter yeast cakes,
- cheese paskha,
- Easter cheesecake with dried fruit and nuts,
- mazurek cakes,
- kołacz cakes with cheese or poppy seeds - characteristic for Silesia.
As a decoration, but also an edible addition, cress is placed on the table. One usually puts a lamb figurine made of sugar, butter or chocolate.
Ukrainian Easter dishes
Ukrainian Easter is quite similar to the Polish one. That’s why traditional Easter menus from both of these countries resemble each other. Eating breakfast with the family is the most important element of Ukrainian Easter. Everyone receives a plate of blessed Easter food. These include eggs, sausage and other meats, as well as minced horseradish. Interestingly enough, one adds vinegar to everything - and then eats.
Other popular Ukrainian Easter dishes include:
- paska - a yeast cake with cottage cheese and raisins,
- kulichi with cottage cheese - bread cakes,
- various types of cheese,
- grain-based dishes.
Easter dinner ideas from Germany
Easter menu is quite diverse in Germany - depending on the region, people prepare various treats. Roasted lamb, however, is the most characteristic dish for the whole country. This Easter meal is prepared with onions and sour cream. Herbs are essential as well - they make aromatic crust.
Lamb is essential for Germans during Easter - and roasting it is just one of the methods of its preparation. It’s also used for various processed products and delicious sausages.
Take a look at other traditional Easter meals eaten in Germany:
- caraway seed soup,
- nut bread,
- Easter cakes with raisins,
- various types of cheesecakes,
- pork tartare with pepper, onions and parsley,
- eggs stuffed with caviar,
- cottage cheese in many forms,
- baked fish.
Italian Easter dinner menu
In Italy, the stress is put not on breakfast, but on dinner. While eggs are eaten for the first meal, the central part of the day is the most important one. Italian Easter dinner looks different than in other countries. Note that every region in Italy has its own delicacies, so Easter dishes might differ.
An Italian table on Easter wouldn’t be complete without the following meals:
- cheese and ham appetizers,
- pizza al formaggio, which replaces an Easter cake,
- lasagne bolognese or other type of pasta,
- lamb in various forms,
- a cake with ricotta cheese, eggs and artichokes (Torta pasqualina),
- a cake shaped like a dove (Colomba di Pasqua).
Children receive chocolate eggs with surprises. They are purchased in pastry shops and supermarkets.
Traditional Easter meal from Spain
Easter in Spain is something absolutely special. The streets fill with processions, people wear special clothes, and they are very invested in every event. Many tourists come to the country to see what the local culture and customs look like.
Spanish prepare have many Easter food traditions. Popular Easter meals are served in practically every house. They include:
- garbanzo beans stew - potaje de garbanzos,
- bread dipped in milk, eggs and sugar - torrija,
- yeast doughnuts with vanilla cream - Buñuelos,
- rice with milk - arroz con leche,
- a cake with eggs, savory or sweet - hornazo,
- white wine flavored cookies - pestiños,
- a cake called a monkey - mona de Pascua - filled with regular or chocolate eggs.
Sweet French Easter menu
Easter in France is not a typical religious holiday - the stress is put on spending time together and joy. Easter menu is not very diverse. A roasted lamb leg is the most characteristic dish in most regions of France. A chocolate cake - nid de pâques is also very popular.
Easter tables are also set with classic appetizers and wine, while children receive a lot of sweets and chocolate bunnies, lambs and eggs.
Traditional Greek Easter menu
Greek Easter foods are practically the same as served on every other big celebration. The Easter table is set with the following dishes:
- various salads,
- roasted potatoes with herbs,
- roasted lamb,
- roasted goat meat,
- Olives in various forms,
- feta cheese sprinkled with olive oil,
- seafood and fish.
Greece is distinct about the way it celebrates Holy Saturday. That’s when a special Easter dish is prepared - magritisa soup. It’s based on lamb giblets such as lungs, intestines, hearts. They are served with a lot of salt and dill.
Easter food traditions around the world
In addition to the mentioned Easter foods - different countries offer unusual Easter menu ideas. They aren’t as diverse, however. Some countries have e.g. 1 or 2 treats associated typically with Easter. Find the most interesting examples below.
- Norway - the main Easter dish in this country is roasted lamb with goat cheese, mustard and rosemary.
- USA - cooked ham with potatoes and braised vegetables are among the most popular Easter dishes.
- Sweden - the country is famous for its beef or lamb meatballs.
- The Czech Republic - typical Easter menu includes steamed Knedliki with meat stew.
- United Kingdom - fruit cake with marzipan glaze is a characteristic Easter treat of the country.
- Portugal - here, Easter is associated with yeast bread which contains eggs inside.
- The Netherlands - people in this country prepare a special loaf cake full of dried fruits, nuts, and marzipan for Easter.
- Austria - here, Easter won’t be complete without a dish made of smoked bacon, neck, sauerkraut, potatoes, eggs, onion, apples and spices.
📍 What are some good Easter menu ideas?
Every country has its typical Easter food, prepared specially for the holidays. In Poland, for instance, sour rye soup is the most popular dish. Germans, French and Greeks eat lamb in various forms. Cakes are essential elements of Easter menu in most countries - yeast cakes and cheesecakes are popular choices.
📍 What do Easter foods symbolize?
Easter is a unique event thanks to its symbolism - but it's difficult to talk about it in the context of particular dishes. Certain food items have meaning, however - eggs symbolize new life, and bread in Christian faith is a symbol of Christ's body.
📍 What to eat for Easter breakfast?
In many places, Easter breakfast is an important and festive meal shared with the family. Traditional Easter dishes and treats are served for this occasion, for instance eggs, cured meat and cakes.
📍 How to decorate Easter meals?
Easter cakes and treats are typically decorated with candied fruit and nuts. Savory Easter meals come with green garnish, e.g. parsley, dill, cress or sprouts. It depends on an individual concept.