How is it with Easter in Italy? In theory it’s a very important holiday, but in reality it is not so much celebrated anymore. In my opinion Italian saying: Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi voi (which means you are supposed to spend Christmas with your family and Easter with whoever you like) illustrates in the best way the its character in Bel Paese.
Very often people spend this time with their friends, they enjoy staying at home or go for vacations. Which doesn’t mean a long distance trips. My friends from Piedmont go to Liguria, where temperatures are usulay higher then in the central part of the country. And who is lucky to have a house with the Langhe and Roero hills view, can simply sit down with a glass of wine admiring the beauty of this region and in this way charge batteries.
I have to admit I really like this easy going attitude, no musts and duties of arranging family reunions, on the other hand living there I missed some Polish customs like decorating Easter baskets with paint hard-boiled eggs (pisanki), some food like ham, bread, salt and twig of boxwood or some Polish traditional food. While I enjoyed very much colomba (dove shape cake) which I used to eat for breakfast with coffee. During Christmas time pnettone is the king of the table, while during Easter time it’s its close couisine – colomba. Why cousine? Because it’s very similar in taste and preparation method (the dough is made with flour, eggs, sugar, butter and it usually contains candied peel and no raisins). This similarity is not accidental as the Easter cake was invented in 30s of 20th century, in confectionary factory Motta in Lombardia, popular at that time from their great panettoni. By the way, they had a business – wise idea – despite getting profit only ones a year, they were able to double it with a low cost.
Despite colomba, giant chocolate eggs (uova di pasqua) are important protagonists of Easter. There are loved especially by children as usually there is a surprise hidden inside the chocolate shell. For all the time before Easter shop window of pasticerie attracts with tasty and beautifully packaged, sometime in extraordinary shapes – despite eggs I saw bunnies, pigs, cows and also a phone…
Of course each Italian region has its own traditional meal for Easter but for me what suits the best is a big plate of green asparagus served with fried egg. Seasonal, healthy, delisiuous and very much about Easter. Buona Pasqua!