Traditional Romanian dishes for Easter
The celebration of Easter is a custom practiced every all over the world, including the extremely religious country of Romania. All nations have their special and unique habits and traditions during this festivity such as cooking and preparing traditional dishes.
The colored and chocolate eggs are a must accessory on every festive table in every household but besides eggs you will find many other traditional delicacies and deliciously prepared meals. There are several foods made of eggs such as stuffed eggs, lamb giblets, decorated eggs and so on. The variously prepared lamb meat is also an essential part of the Easter menu. Try marinated lamb, lamb seasoned with spring herbs or lamb with savory and sweet vegetables.
In the beginning traditionally the eggs were always painted red but today every household has its own colors and decorations. Eggs are painted green, blue, yellow or black and have different kind of designs and motifs painted or glued on them.
There are regions where decorating eggs is practiced at an artistic level. The experts use special instruments, sharp sticks, cotton or linen pieces and wax to beautifully decorate the eggs. The eggs are mostly serving the purpose of decorating the table but also on Monday when the boys go to sprinkle the girls they collect an egg from each house and take them home. Some people challenge each other to crack each other’s Easter egg and the one who’s egg does not crack is the winner and gets the other’s egg.
The pasca is a usually round shaped cake which is baked before Easter. The pasca can be baked in different moldings and forms. Some have jagged margins or dough braids and others are simple. The one with braids is called ‘cross pasca’ and usually has braids in the middle in the shape of a cross which symbolizes the crucifixion of Jesus.
The people take the cross pasca to church on Easter day so the clergyman will bless it. The dough of the pasca can be mixed with chees, raisins, cinnamon or other ingredients.
The Easter Lamb
In the Bible lambs were taken to church to be sacrifice for one’s sins. It was said that for your sins to be forgiven a life must be sacrificed and the Israelites usually took their best lamb and gave it to the priest to kill it. Today the Easter lamb symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who died for the sins of the whole world and since his death and resurrection the law of sacrifices has been erased. Eating lamb meat at Easter time people remember the sacrifice of Jesus.
Cozonac is also a traditional cake which can be of rectangular or round shape. It is a kind of roll or loaf which Romanians usually fill with ground nuts or ground poppy seed mixed with sugar.