Easter food cracked - the reasons behind the foodie traditions, by Adam Reid
The magic behind Easter
It’s all about food. For me anyway. There are so many foodie traditions at this time of year – hot cross buns, chocolate and fish. But why? I’m not sure I’ve ever questioned this so I put some time aside to try and crack it.
Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns, one ha’ penny, two ha’ penny, hot cross buns
As far as I know – hot cross buns date back to the 12th century. The story goes that an Anglican monk first baked the buns and marked them with a cross to symbolise the crucifixion of Christ. The spicy and fruity flavours are meant to signify the spices used to preserve Jesus’ corpse at his burial.
Real timeless flavours.
Hot cross buns in my opinion are a real crowd divider – some love them, some hate them. Personally, I love them. Around Easter time, if ever I’m peckish in the kitchen – just toast one, cover in butter and eat. Just divine.
Fish, fish and more fish
Traditionally, Good Friday is a time to abstain from meat and opt for fish. And being a fish freak – this makes me happy.
In acknowledgment of the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, Roman Catholics turned away from eating warm-blooded animals on Fridays. The custom has since continued and here we are prioritising seafood. Of course, my top three choices are wild. Alaska wild. Not just crazy.
- A strong whitefish such as pollock dipped in batter is always a winner when served with thick cut chips and mushy peas
- For something more a little upmarket, salmon is a good choice. Just be careful not to overcook it
- And of course king crab for a show-stopping dish. Do as the Alaskans do and dip it in butter
Easter is all about chocolate, isn’t it?
Well, it seems that there is more to it. The egg is a symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth. Originally, eating eggs was disallowed by the Christian church during the week leading up to Easter so they were saved, decorated in bright colours and given as presents to children.
Germany was then responsible for the first chocolate egg in the 19th century – although I believe that the chocolate was a tad on the bitter side. But now with advanced chocolate-making techniques, the hollowed eggs we find in shops and supermarkets everywhere are just so good.
We tend to put an Easter dessert on the menu at The French – a version of spiced simnel cake.
Writing this has made me so hungry. It’s a good job I bought a packet of hot cross buns on the way into work.