The “Pastiera”, the Procession, the “Casatiello”, the Holy Week rites… soul and food. This is what comes to our minds when speaking about Easter. Soul and Body gratification are tightly linked in our catholic tradition from past centuries.
Until a couple of generations ago food was not a given. Everyday’s diet was made of vegetables, maybe bread, fish, sometimes second choice meat, poor food. Festivities were different: festivities were the time when who could afford it had special food. It was a feast for the soul and for the body.
That was a long time ago. Neverthess we still have many typical meals that are made only once a year, to celebrate the main festivities: Christmas of course, but also the “day of the deaths” (November 2nd), Carnival (variable date in February, linked to Easter rites), and so on. For example, in most families in Napoli the “Pastiera” is prepared only at Easter time: making it more often would spoil its value! Pastiera equals Easter.
Also on the soul side things have changed. In our busy days, especially in large cities, the main religious appointment is the Sunday mass. Anyhow in may little towns there are centuries old rites that go on for several days and still live today. One example is Procida, where the procession and the other rites have even made it to Wikipedia!Below in this post I am just listing some of the typical food for Easter time in Napoli. We’ll cover more some of the other aspects in next posts. More to come…
And by the way, our children also have eggs, but their life is easier :-). They don’t have to hunt for them. The receive a large chocolate egg with a “surprise” inside (a small gift) after Sunday lunch.
- Pastiera: cake made with ricotta, wheat, eggs and candied citron
- Casatiello: kind of “enriched bread” stuffed with cheese, salami, eggs, lard
- Agnello con patate: baked lamb with potatoes, typical for Sunday lunch
- Carciofo in pinzimonio: boiled artichoke, eaten leaf by leaf with olive oil and salt
- “Fellata”: (literally kind of “sliced”): assortment of various kinds of salami, boiled eggs, lightly seasoned salty ricotta, all in slices.