The PA Melting pot creates an Ethnic Triangle of multiple nationalities in SE Ohio, SW PA and NW WV. There are 12 MAJOR ethnic immigrant groups from the 1700’s to the 1960’s. This series of articles will focus on these immigrant groups and their cuisine THEN and NOW!!
Thursday, April 18, 2019
THE PA MELTING POT - Special Edition for Easter and Passover SPECIAL REPOST and VIDEOS ADDED!!
Pot: A look at the evolution of food in
SPECIAL: Passover and Easter
Although mainly Jews celebrate Passover (The largest Jewish
communities exist in Israel and the United States and other countries including
theRussian Federation,France, Poland, Austria, Canada,
Argentina, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa andHungary.), 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
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.
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.
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