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Dating back centuries, simnel cake is a fruit cake that was originally eaten on Sunday during Lent throughout the United Kingdom.
The cake is topped with a layer of toasted marzipan and 11 or 12 marzipan balls, which represent the 12 apostles.
Pascua is Spanish for Easter, so Tarta Pascualina means "Eastertime Tart."
Recipes for capirotada — a bread pudding served on Good Friday — vary across the country, but it's usually made from:
Capirotada is meant to signify the crucifixion: the cinnamon sticks represent the cross, the cloves represent the nails, and the bread represents Christ's Body.
The French have a particular Easter recipe for leg of lamb known as "le gigot d'agneau Pascal:"
The meat (lamb being known as a sacrificial animal) is seasoned with garlic and herbs such as rosemary and then roasted.
Those making mämmi for Easter need to start the preparation days in advance, as it needs to be stored chilled for three to four days before being served.
The traditional dessert is made from water, molasses, malted rye, rye flour, and Seville orange zest for seasoning. It's usually eaten cold with milk or cream.
Sweet breads are common holiday food in Italy. There's panettone at Christmas and colomba di Pasqua at Easter.
Shaped like a dove, a symbol of peace, colomba di Pasqua is stuffed with candied fruit and then sprinkled with almonds and pearl sugar.
This is a hearty soup that consists of a variety of grains and beans as well as bacalao, dry salted cod. The exact ingredients differ from household to household, but common ones include fava beans, squash, corn, rice, garlic, onions, peas, and milk.
Ideally, 12 different kinds of beans are used to make the soup, representing the 12 apostles. The bacalao symbolizes Jesus.
Tsoureki is a braided sweet bread.
The three-strand braid symbolizes the Holy Trinity, while the hard-boiled eggs that the bread is commonly served with are meant to symbolize the blood of Christ, which is why they're dyed red.
Rosquillas de Semana Santa, or Easter doughnuts, taste more like cake than doughnuts since they're made with fermented flour instead of yeast.
How they're served differs across Spain, but a common preparation is a dusting of sugar on top.
The ham is sweet, thanks to either a glaze made from honey and brown sugar or from being covered in sliced pineapple.
Before fridges existed, animals were slaughtered in the fall, and their cured meat wasn't ready to eat until Easter — hence the tradition.
Pinca is a popular Easter treat used to celebrate the end of Lent in many Eastern European countries, like Slovenia and Croatia.
Before it's baked, the sign of the cross is carved into the dough at the top of the bread.
Made with cottage cheese and cream cheese, pashka is a savory dessert that can either be eaten alone or with bread.
The cheese mound is often decorated with dried fruit and the letters XB, which mean "Christ is risen."
A combination of both pizza and pie, pizza chiena means filled pizza in the Neapolitan dialect.
The Neapolitan specialty is stuffed with a variety of cured meats and cheeses.
These sweet, spiced buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday to signify the end of Lent, and have been an Easter tradition for centuries.
Currants or raisins dot the bun, and a glaze is used to make a cross on top, which signifies the crucifixion of Jesus.
This sweet and salty Brazilian candy is made from only a few simple ingredients: ground peanuts, salt, sugar, and sometimes cassava flour.
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