Easter in Italy

Pastiera

Living in Europe has many benefits. It means that you can hop on an hour long flight to spend Easter with an Italian friend’s family for less than 100 Euros! This year, Easter was spent in Gaeta, a small coastal town between Rome and Naples. I normally don’t celebrate but was excited about the chance to witness the culture and customs of Italians during an important holiday for them! To my delight, my friend’s mother, Rosalita, is an excellent and dedicated cook! She didn’t take any shortcuts and made everything from scratch- I have never had more delicious Italian food! All the dishes had rich colors and aromas that I couldn’t resist…and perhaps I ate too much of!

Easter weekend in Italy is a time when everyone returns to their parents home and reconnects with family, cousins, and childhood friends. The night before Easter, all the bars were hoping and people were catching up with friends they hadn’t seen in a while. It reminded me of Thanksgiving weekend in the US where everyone goes out on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to see friends from high school.

At noon on Easter Sunday, Rosalita’s house was filled with about 20 family members. I was warned not to spoil my appetite because there would be so much food and I’m glad I took the advice. There was an array of foods that filled the table and some that were being passed around for an aperitivo. Everything was delicious but I think that the most typically regional Easter food that was served was a tarte called Neapolitan Pastiera. It is a traditional Easter cake that comes from Naples. It is made from ricotta cheese and corn. It was very  delicious. Rosalita and her sister were in competition over who’s was best. I didn’t participate as I couldn’t bear to decide which was more delicious.

Pastiera

After two long days of cooking and baking, the chef, Rosalita finally sits down to eat her masterpiece. It was a wonderful experience to be with such nice people during a holiday that is so important to them!

Rosalita

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Categories: Italy

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2 Comments on “Easter in Italy”

  1. April 19, 2012 at 07:50 #

    Sounds fun. Who were the family? how come you got the invite? Did you get in the kitchen or would they not let you in? do they speak English? or are you Fluent in Italian but just have never told me before? So many questions! that must mean I am interested.

    • May 26, 2012 at 19:00 #

      It’s the family of friend I met in Boston nearly seven years ago. I always wanted to see his hometown and I finally got the chance! He and his sister speak perfect English but his mother spoke very little. However, we were still able to communicate pretty well. Initially she told me that I could spend time in the kitchen with her but she ultimately declined my help because she prefers to cook alone. It was a really fantastic experience…and I really love Italy…and the gelato :).

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