The other day my Italian teacher asked me what our family traditions are at Easter. I was stumped, I really couldn’t think of any, and then I realised that for the last four years we’ve been overseas at Easter, observing and absorbing the traditions of people around us, rather than setting our own traditions. Bad mummy! I’ll have to think something up.
This year we’re at home for the Easter break. I feel a bit like an observer ~ totally absent are the pretty spring pastel colours I saw in Europe ~ they’re irrelevant to us here. There’s no freshening up of the colour palette for home wares, its all about snuggling in now. And what I’ve really noticed is the horrible, garish chocolate Easter-egg offerings in the shops around me. I’d forgotten how ugly they are here. They make me so sad. I’m in no way persuaded to buy them… perhaps this is the reason we‘ve never bought into the whole chocolate egg thing here. In Italy, its another story altogether.
Maybe its because we’ve usually been ‘in centro’ wherever we’ve been ~ and nowhere near a supermercato, but I love how in Europe the emphasis is placed on high quality ingredients, beautiful colours and beautiful craftsmanship in their Easter offerings. The shop windows are filled with such pretty colours, such beautiful wrappings, its almost impossible to choose just one…
Since I’m of Russian background, our Easter usually came a week before or after the European Easter, it followed the old calendar and never coincided. As a child, my Easter was always marked with Kulich and Pashka, and hand dyed boiled eggs. Kulich is a slightly citrus flavoured bread, usually containing candied peel, very much like the Colomba cake that the italians traditionally have at Easter, and Pashka (or Paskha) is a sweet set cheese, much like the inside of a cheesecake. This must be why I like Torta di Colomba and Panettone so much ~ they both remind me of my childhood.
Hmmm… today’s mission: to find a lovely Torta di Colomba cake.
Mi manca pasqua in italia.