Easter’s Sweet Traditions

By Julie Wilson and Cynthia Psarakis

Published on April 6, 2007

Easter is a time of celebration with family and friends, for enjoying delicious foods and partaking in indulgences of the sweetest kind. Throughout the world, we've discovered a wealth of unique traditions centered around these tasty treats. Some may be familiar, some not—but they just might spark a new tradition in your own home:

• Chocolate eggs are a near-universal favorite, but while researching Shell Game, Allison Engel found that in Europe, they are the centerpiece of the Easter table.

• In heavily Catholic Italy, Easter rituals are revered, especially those of the culinary kind, such as the columba pasquale Catherine Tillman writes about in Easter Sweet.

• Closer to home are two favorite sweets found in children's Easter baskets every year: cute, bright, squishy Peeps (read about their devoted following in Cathy Young's article, Peep Show; and the Magical Eggs made by California confectioner See's Candies'—delectable chocolate eggs that bring back fond childhood memories for writer Christy Hobart.

Of course, Easter eggs—whether boiled, decorated, or made of chocolate—have great meaning in the Christian paschal season. In Rome they are a symbol of rebirth and have been celebrated and eaten since antiquity. And, as author David Downie learned in Easter in Rome, some even hold surprising gifts.

Finally, although the sweet treats of Easter are something everyone can enjoy, some cultures adhere tightly to their own time-honored rituals to mark Easter week. Dinae Kochilas takes us into a Greek family kitchen to explore Greek Tradition Reborn and the savory dishes that have a special place in the Greek Easter feast. Whether you celebrate this joyous holiday with foods and recipes passed down from generation to generation, or create new traditions borrowed from diverse cultures, here are two exclusive SAVEUR menus to help you plan your Easter feast.

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