Easter is a special time in Russia, with many foods prepared for the occasion. Celebrations are generally later than in the West. This happens because Easter dates are determined by different calendars. The Russian-Orthodox church uses the old Julian calendar, whereas the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches follow the Gregorian calendar.
Here are just a few of the traditional foods enjoyed in Russia for Easter.
Kulich: The most famous Russian Easter bread, kulich, is known for its tall narrow shape. It is usually made with lots of butter and eggs, plus additions of candied fruit, raisins, and nuts. The bulging top is iced and decorated, usually with Cyrillic letters standing for “Christ is risen“. Kulich is only eaten during the 40 days after Paskha (Easter) until Pentecost.
Paskha: Most often referred to as Russian cheesecake, paskha is a dessert made from curd cheese and is molded in shape in the form of a truncated pyramid. It is white in color, symbolizing the purity of Christ, the Paschal Lamb, and the joy of the Resurrection. Paskha is most often served with kulich.
Kurnik: This savory pie is made with chicken, rice, and mushroom filling with a creamy sauce. An authentic Russian specialty!
Soups: Given the long, harsh winter conditions in Russia, soup is always been a staple food even for holidays like Easter, such as borsch, rassolnik, and lapsha.
Salads: There are many types of salads that are a part of Russian cuisine and are eaten for Easter including beet salad, cucumber salad and egg salad. They are often served with various seasonings such as horse-radish, mayonnaise, dill, and garlic, adding special pungency to the dish.
Ham in the dough: Simply stated…delicious ham baked in a flaky crust.
Draniki: A type of potato pancake, draniki is often fried and stuffed with grated potatoes, onions or garlic and seasoning. This dish is also very popular throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
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