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If you’re looking to celebrate Greek Easter most traditionally and deliciously as possible, you’ve come to the right place. Greek Easter Food: The Ultimate Guide 2023 has all the information you need to know about this period!
These dishes are unique and flavorful, from the Paschal Lamb, which symbolizes Jesus as the “Lamb of God,” to traditional Greek Easter bread (Tsoureki). Easter food is about the main course and the side dishes.
A brief history of the Greek Easter
Following Greek Orthodox Lent, which begins on Lent Monday and lasts 40 days, Greece marks Holy Week, which builds up to Easter. For Orthodox Christians, Holy Week is a “fasting” time (no meat or dairy items).
As is observed by many people in Greece, unique Lent meals are available at local fast food restaurants, and eateries may be rather imaginative. For example, a popular souvlaki restaurant on the Greek island of Corfu serves vegan souvlaki loaded with zucchini fritters instead of beef.
While the rich gastronomic traditions linked with Easter vary considerably by location, several practices that have arisen during Holy Week are common across Greece.
What special happens after the resurrection of Christ?
The meat-fest that is Greek Easter officially begins on Saturday night, immediately after the church ceremony commemorating Christ’s resurrection. Greeks return from church just after midnight and play tsougrisma, or egg-tapping, with their red eggs. Each family member holds an egg and taps the eggs of the others in the family. The winner is the one who manages to break the other eggs without damaging their own.
Following egg-tapping, a unique soup known as magiritsa is consumed. The soup is created from lamb innards, which include some or all of the intestines, heart, liver, neck, and head. The organs will not be grilled on a spit later. Dill, lettuce, onion, avgolemono, an egg, and lemon juice broth are the other components (although some prefer the soup without the avgolemono). The soup is rich and flavorful, but it is a “love it or hate it” meal.
The epitome of Greek Easter Food!
Easter meal, for starters:
The Easter holidays are an excellent opportunity to try out traditional Greek appetizers like dolmas, Greek olives, feta cheese, Greek salad, and every kind of pie like spanakopita. The Easter bread is often served as well and usually comes with a red-dyed egg on top to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For the main course:
Greek Easter dishes typically include Paschal Lamb, roasted in the oven or over an open flame. Greek Easter also calls for traditional dishes like meatballs, moussaka, pastitsio, and potatoes. Grilled fish is another popular Greek Easter food choice that can be served alongside Greek salads and other vegetable sides.
On Easter Sunday, the aroma of spit-roasted lamb and other meat delights permeates the air. Follow the fragrance and the laughter wherever you are in Greece. On that day, almost everyone in Greece travels to a rural hamlet where the family gathers to grill lamb and eat together.
The preparation of a whole lamb begins early on Sunday morning. Grilled lamb and other meat-based meals, such as kokoretsi, a lamb or goat intestines wrapped around seasoned offal, such as sweetbreads, hearts, lungs, or kidneys, and often grilled, are on the menu. Olive oil, roasted potatoes, Greek yogurt, and feta cheese or cream cheese with garlic are essential accompaniments.
Traditional Greek Easter sweets such as Koulourakia cookies, Greek karidopita, and Greek flaounas are all must-try Greek Easter treats. Greek Easter is also the perfect time to indulge in pastries like baklava, melomakarona, and Greek loukoumades.
No matter what Greek Easter food you choose to make this year, the Easter holidays are a time to gather with family and friends, enjoy delicious food, and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Don’t forget to clink your red Easter eggs!
Happy Greek Easter! Καλό Πάσχα!