Read the history of our traditional Easter Foods and enjoy our stunning Easter three course feast, featuring smoked salmon, seasonal spring lamb, and chocolate! Yummy!
There’s a big family long weekend coming on the way! Easter is a comin’ and it’s a time very much associated with food traditions.
Good Friday marks the day of the crucifixion of Christ. In religious terms, it’s a day of mourning. Going back to old religious times in the Catholic faith, no meat would be eaten on this day, and only one small sparse meal allowed, which often included fish. That’s still very much the case for many households, which is why fish is so popular on Good Friday.
On Easter Sunday, the celebration of the resurrection brings much joy to Christian communities. For everyone, religious or not, Easter Sunday is packed with the feel good factor! It marks spring which is symbolised with eggs, the sign of new birth. On Easter Sunday morning, there’s great excitement to see if the Easter Bunny has called and deposited chocolate eggs, which kids spend hours searching for on Easter Egg hunts. Families gather for an Easter Sunday celebration meal. Lamb is the order of the day.
WHY DO WE EAT LAMB AT EASTER?
The tradition of eating lamb is based in times long before Christianity. The Jewish Passover Feast features lamb. As God sent plague into Egypt, lamb’s blood was used to mark the doors of Jewish homes. The sign was an indication to God to ‘pass over’ the houses with the marked doors so that the occupants would not be harmed. The Jewish Passover Feast represents their freedom from slavery in Egypt and the Exodus to Israel, under the leadership of Moses.
During Passover the sacrifice of a Paschal Lamb was made in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Every family who could eat a whole spring lamb was required to offer a lamb for sacrifice and complete consumption at the Passover Feast. Smaller families would form groups to sacrifice a lamb to share.
Eating lamb at Easter was brought into Christian times by Jews who had converted to Christianity, and brought their traditional foods with them. This seasonal meat of spring is also inextricably linked with Jesus being referred to as the ‘Lamb of God’. Enjoying a meal of lamb continues to this day on Easter Sunday in most homes. In Ireland, spring lamb is usually born in late December and January, ready for the table in time for Easter. As Easter falls early this year, it’s wise to get your order in to the butcher if you haven’t done so already!
OUR EASY EASTER FEAST
Our Good Food Ireland chefs excel when it comes to special occasion dining. We’ve designed a stunning three course menu which incorporates the foods of Easter. There’s a choice of two mains, depending on whether you are serving a small intimate group of a big family gathering. Both feature lamb, of course!
A divine combination of creamy smoked salmon mousse perched on Smoked Oatcakes from Ditty’s Bakery in Northern Ireland. A sliver of smoked salmon perched on top finishes the presentation. Really pretty and very, very easy! You can make one large cheesecake and serve in slices, or little individual cakes. A seriously impressive starter for your Easter feast.
This has a delicate spring feel. Served with a sweet potato gratin, a colourful main course with tastes really fit the season. A five star meal from Hayfield Manor Hotel in Cork, suitable for Easter Lunch for an intimate group of four
Great for a gathering, served with all the trad accompaniments of roast potatoes and veggies. Don’t forget the mint sauce!
For pud it has to be chocolate! We look to the talents of Robbie Krawcyzk, Head Chef at Tankardstown House in Co. Meath, for this meltingly seductive dessert.