Here Comes Easter

St. Patrick’s Day is now behind us and the green in the world’s rivers is being washed out to sea (along with how many tons of spilled green beer!), though for Restaurant owners this isn’t a time to rest. Easter is just around the corner and in two weeks hungry people are going to want something to celebrate the season with. Here’s some ideas for your restaurant’s menu or for the cook at home, something for your kitchen table!

From homecooking.about.com

Hot Cross Buns are an Easter favorite in many areas. The tradition allegedly is derived from ancient Anglo-Saxons who baked small wheat cakes in honor of the springtime goddess, Eostre. After converting to Christianity, the church substituted the cakes with sweetbreads blessed by the church.
Countries around the world serve sweet cakes in the same vein, such as Czech babobka and Polish baba. The Greeks and Portugese serve round, flat loaves marked with a cross and decorated with Easter eggs. Syrian and Jordanian Christians have honey pastries.

Pretzels were first shaped to indicate the torso of a person with arms folded, praying.

The roast lamb dinner that many eat on Easter Sunday goes back earlier than Easter to the first Passover of the Jewish people. The sacrificial lamb was roasted and eaten, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (see Passover Seder) in hopes that the angel of God would pass over their homes and bring no harm. As Hebrews converted to Christianity, they naturally brought along their traditions with them. The Christians often refer to Jesus as The Lamb of God. Thus, the traditions merged.

In the United States, ham is a traditional Easter food. In the early days, meat was slaughtered in the fall. There was no refrigeration, and the fresh pork that wasn’t consumed during the winter months before Lent was cured for spring. The curing process took a long time, and the first hams were ready around the time Easter rolled around. Thus, ham was a natural choice for the celebratory Easter dinner.

Of course, there’s always hassenpfeffer for those who want a chuckle or shock your guests.

See what local restaurants are doing in Northeast North Carolina at Community Restaurants.com here.

roast lamb

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St. Patricks Day Traditions: Myth or Delicious Facts?

St. Patrick’s Day is rapidly coming upon us, so everyone had better be ready to don some green or risk being pinched!

How did getting pinched on St. Patricks Day come to be? Well some have it as it starting in the early 1700s, about the time that awareness of St. Patrick’s as a holiday came to the fore in Boston. If you wore green it made you invisible to the Leprechauns – else they were out to pinch anyone they could see. So the pinching was to warn you about the Leprechauns.

Another myth about St. Patrick’s Day? The fabled Corned Beef and Cabbage meal. Many think of this dish as the essential Irish cuisine, and may gobble it down on St. Patrick’s Day out of tradition and to honor the Irish people. But according to Epicurious.com, the dish is nearly extinct in Ireland and many true Irish folk have no idea what it is. So the question is: Is it really Irish? The answer is yes, so restaurants across the Unitred States (and here in the Albemarle) shouldn’t be afraid to label this historic and ancient Irish meal as an Irish tradition when they set out their meals this St. Patty’s day. To read more, check out the link here.