Easter in Italy: Another Excuse to Eat

Well it’s almost that time of year here in Italia, the Easter holidays. Despite the fact that I am the lone Jew in Parma, the festive air is nonetheless charming, and of course appetizing. Being that this is a major Catholic hub, Easter is kind of a big deal out here. Not necessarily for religious reasons, but for culture, family, and of course delicious holiday eating.

Beginning somewhere in mid-March, you can begin to see the immersion of the famous Uova di Pasqua (the Italian take on the Easter Egg) in specialty shops, grocery stores, and markets alike.

This festive treat is basically a large chocolate egg (dark, milk, hazelnut, etc) filled with a little surprise inside. It is a typical “I don’t really care about you but I’ll give you this Easter egg to be cordial” type gift. They make the shops look pretty as they are usually wrapped in colorful cellophane.

Another typically Italian Easter treat is the Colomba Pasquale (The Easter Dove) cake that has a similar taste and texture to familiar Christmas cakes such as Panettone or Pandoro. These are traditionally made with candied oranges and almonds, and of course a heartstoppingly high amount of butter. Nonetheless delicious. They are supposed to represent the shape of a dove, but I didn’t realize this until I looked it up. I always thought it was a cross.


But of course, the true essence of Easter is the meal itself, on Sunday April 4th, Italy becomes the country of lamb, as this is the traditional Easter meal. Roasted lamb is SO goodddddd!

However, unlike Christmas, the Easter meal is usually less formal and spent with friends. My Italian friends say “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” which literally translates to “Christmas with the parents, Easter with whoever you want”. In fact, many Italians actually go out to eat in restaurants on Easter to save energy and spend some quality time being social with others.

Nonetheless, I am keeping up my gym routine because in anticipation for the holidays it is always a good idea to burn off a few extra calories? No?

Happy Easter Folks, or as they say in Italy, Buona Pasqua!

I leave you with a recipe I found for Roast Easter lamb with Fennel and Potatoes. Yum.

P.S. This is also my 100th Post!!!!!!! Thanks for reading!

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