Friday, April 19, 2019
INTERNATIONAL: 50 Traditional Italian Easter Recipes OR 50-ricette-di-pasqua-rubate-alla-tradizione - LINK to InternationalFoodBlog
Thursday, April 18, 2019
The Melting Pot: A look at the evolution of food in southwestern Pa.
HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Passover and Easter
Although mainly Jews celebrate Passover (The largest Jewish communities exist in Israel and the United States and other countries including the Russian Federation, France, Poland, Austria, Canada, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa and Hungary.), I have combined the ethnic foods of Passover and Easter (which is celebrated by Christians) together because celebrations rather they be weddings, religious holidays, christenings, etc. all have something in common: Ethnic foods. This year Passover is on April 19-27 and Easter on April 21.
The gathering of friends and family for these religious observances always involve reflection, prayer and food in any country or area including southwestern Pennsylvania. Whether the serving of food is done via buffet or at a sit-down dinner the food is the important go-to! Since western PA is such a melting pot I have researched some of the common foods you might find at celebration tables.
From Napoli or Naples, Italy, the main Easter dishes are the Casatiello or Tortano (a salty pie made with bread dough stuffed with various types of salami and cheese). Also, typical of Easter is the Fellata (a banquet of salami, capocollo and salty ricotta). Easter cake is the Pastiera (made with ricotta cheese). Overall, many Italians may have Minestrone (fresh garden vegetable soup), Arrosto di Agnello (roasted leg of lamb), Braciole in Ragu’ Sauce (Stuffed Meat Rolls) and for dessert fruit flavored desserts are popular such as Composta di frutta (fruit compote made with fresh fruits and ripe berries in season, chopped nuts, liqueur and sweetened whipped cream) and I Gelati Italiani (Italian ices in flavors of lemon, melon and orange).
From Russia and Greece red eggs are popular as is Kulich (a loaf of Easter bread also from Belarus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Georgia and Serbia) and Strudel (also popular in Hungary). In Greece the traditional meal is Mageiritsa (hearty stew of chopped lamb liver and wild greens seasoned with egg-and-lemon sauce). In the Ukraine there are several traditional foods including Paska (bread) and cheesecake desserts. Tsoureki (Greek) and Pane-di-Pasqua (Italy) are sweet yeast breads with red hard boiled eggs baked in the dough.
A Zazaski (Polish buffet) might have on the table: Rzodkiewka (radishes), Grzyby marynowane (pickled mushrooms), Caviar, Wybór pieczywa (assorted breads), Musztardą masło (mustard butter), Oprowadzeni sery (assorted cheeses), Buraki cukrowe upodobaniem (beet relish) and Polskie ciasto ser (Polish cheese cake).
From France Passover and Easter foods can include l’Agneau Pascal (lamb roasted with garlic, olive oil and optional are dried “herbes de Provence” - mixture of savory, thyme, lavender, etc.), Torrefie Les Asperges Vertes ET Des Oeufs (roasted asparagus and eggs), Gratin Dauphinois, (potatoes with double cream) and often Fruits for dessert.
From Germany the following might be served: Fisch gebacken–gratin (baked fish au gratin), Rouladen (beef stuffed and rolled up), Kartoffelknödel (potato dumplings), Lauch Suppe (leek soup) and Konigskuchen (king’s cake).
Jewish Seder Passover foods (from different Jewish countries) might be Chicken soup with Matzo Balls, Borscht (beet soup), Charoses or Haroset (fruit dessert made with apples, cinnamon, honey and sweet wine), Tzimmes (cooked vegetables or fruits-sometimes meat is added), Potato Kugel and Gefilte Fish with horseradish.
Beverages are usually red, white and rose wines and beers.
Christine Willard, a native of western Pennsylvania, researches and blogs about the food unique to western Pennsylvania and has other blogs. She currently resides in North Carolina. Her blog is www.ThePAMeltingPot.com
LINKS BELOW PHOTOS
JEWISH VIRTUAL LIBRARY
WIKIPEDIA ON EASTER
FOOD AND WINE
FRENCH FOOD ABOUT
QUICK GERMAN RECIPES
ITALIAN EASTER BREAD
PASSOVER MEAL PLANNING
A few photos; see them all at link above OR Alcune foto; vederli tutti al link sopra