Food is such an important, telling aspect of culture. Russia is no exception, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Russia, an Orthodox Christian country, has Easter food traditions. 😀
One of the benefits of living abroad is that you get to experience all kind of cultural things firsthand, not to mention more than you would on just a trip because of the countless additional opportunities you have to spend time with natives. Before I came to Russia, I never thought of Easter food the way you associate certain dishes like turkey for Thanksgiving or for Christmas.
Of course, chocolate Easter eggs come to mind, but I didn’t see a single chocolate Easter egg here in Moscow. Instead, I saw (and ate) Easter cake and real Easter eggs, which are absolute must-eats for Easter.
1) Easter Cake – Kulich (koo-leech)
Instead of chocolate eggs, you’ll see all kinds of kulich in grocery stores. They look like huge cupcakes because people bake them in tall, cylindrical tins. People decorate them with white icing and whatever kind of candy or decorations they want.
If you can’t or don’t want to make your own kulich, there are so many in grocery stores. ↓
If you want, you can pay more for a kulich that is neater and more Russian-looking in a box like this one. ↓
Lucky for me, my friend made me kulich. Of course, the homemade kulich was better than the store-bought one. There’s nothing like homemade baking. 😀
I saw that the dough contained cream, butter, sugar, eggs, and yeast. Kulich has to have some kind of flavour like raisins, dried orange, or candied fruit. My friend put raisins in it, and smelling it bake in the oven was divine.
If you don’t decorate your kulich with icing and candy on top, you can make paskha to go with it like my friend did. The white symbolizes the purity of Christ and the joy of his resurrection. I don’t remember all the ingredients, it had cottage cheese, butter, cream, and raisins. It was absolutely delightful. 😀 Come to think of it, it reminded me of cream cheese.
2) Easter Eggs
Every Russian I’ve come across who celebrates Easter here does some kind of Easter egg decorating because Easter wouldn’t be Easter without them. Pretty much anything goes when it comes to dyeing, painting, and design, but you’re pressed for time, short on money, not artistic, or all of the above, you can get an egg decorating kit like this. ↓
Just put one of your hard-boiled eggs into a sheet of film, put it into hot water for a few seconds, and ta daaaa! ↓
The packs come with gold or silver stickers to put on top as a nice finishing touch. Most of them are stars or flowers, but you also have the XB symbol. It’s short for Христос воскресе, which means Christ has risen.
Enjoy your beautiful eggs before your egg fight.
“Egg fight” is what everyone said, and it’s definitely not a good translation. You and another person each take an egg and gently knock the ends together. If your egg ends up being cracked more than the other person’s, you’ll have good luck because your egg is stronger.
Then you peel your egg and enjoy it. Believe me, peeling a beautifully decorated egg is not easy. I got to keep the leftovers, and I’m going to use them with my family and friends back in Canada one of these years. 😀 I’ll get my friend’s kulich and pashka recipes too.
Have you ever thought of bringing
any cultural traditions from abroad home?