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8 Traditional Easter Foods To Try | A Groupon Guide

15 Mar 2021

traditional easter food

Easter food often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Christmas dinner? Sure, that's something everyone has an opinion on. Valentine's meals? People love to wax lyrical over what makes the best V-day dish. But Easter food can be just as exciting, delicious and decadent, and we at Groupon are hyped to bring you our definitive guide to the best traditional Easter food from around the world. 

 

We know that this year you might not be able to have your entire extended family over to show off your cooking chops, but with our guide, you'll be able to spoil your household rotten with sweet and savoury Easter dishes that each have a story to tell.

 

Traditional Easter Food: Mains

 

1. Roast Lamb

roast lamb - traditional easter food

What is it?

Perhaps the most traditional of all traditional Easter dinners, lamb forms the core of a delicious Easter roast. Treat the fam to some lamb with garlic, rosemary and lemon juice, then pair it with mint sauce and roast potatoes and you've got an Easter meal worth celebrating. 

 

Where is it from?

This could well lay claim to being the oldest Easter dish out there. The roast lamb's roots appear to be in the Jewish festival of Passover, which predates Jesus by at least 500 years. As Jews converted to Christianity, so they brought lamb with them — now a staple of Easter dinner tables everywhere. 

 

Where can I get it?

You're not short of places to get lamb, but the Waitrose butcher's counter is one of the best for good quality meat for the centerpiece of your Easter feast. This glorious British Lamb Half Leg is our pick for your Easter dinner table. 

 

How do I save?

Grab yourself a MyWaitrose card to help you save money on your next lamb leg. With the MyWaitrose card, you don't collect points, instead you get exclusive money-off deals, some store-wide but others tailored to your specific shopping needs. It could help you save on what you serve this Easter.

 

2. Roast Ham

roast ham traditional easter food

What is it? 

This traditional Easter food is a ham cooked in a glaze, a big hit on US dinner tables where lamb is less commonly used.

 

Where is it from?

This first pops up in 6th century Germany, but was brought over by immigrants to the US and has become hugely popular with Americans, particularly those in the deep south. Like lamb, ham would have been one of the first meats available after a long winter, so was first on the list for when spring sprung.

 

Where can I buy it?

This traditional Easter dinner staple can be bought pretty much anywhere, but we especially like Tesco's Finest Honey Gammon joint. Sweet in flavour and soft in texture, this one melts in your mouth and will be sure to bring the house down come the big day.

 

How do I save?

If you're getting a fair few Tesco deliveries in each month, it's worth signing up to the Tesco Delivery Saver scheme. Instead of paying the £4 delivery fee each time you shop, you'll pay a monthly £8 fee, meaning you'll save on your grocery bill if you get more than 2 deliveries in any one month. You can cut the cost of your Easter banquet with the Saver scheme today.

 

Traditional Easter Food: Sweets

 

3. Hot Cross Buns

hot cross uns traditional easter food

What is it?

Our first traditional Easter sweet needs no introduction. The hot cross bun is one treat you're sure to have heard of. These milky, buttery, aromatic buns are an iconic symbol of this time of year. Serve toasted with butter, jam and a pot of your finest tea and this bun is unbeatable.

 

Where's it from?

Lots of us like to think of the hot cross bun as quintessentially British — and there's some truth to that. Its first documented appearance was in something called Poor Robin's Almanack (think of it as an 18th century Reddit) in 1733. Nonetheless, according to the Smithsonian magazine, loads of pagan Europeans were baking buns, and the ancient Greeks enjoyed a bun at this time of year too. 

 

Where can I buy them?

You can buy these bad boys anywhere, but our favourites have to be Morrisons' The Best Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns. Lovingly made with sultanas, orange zest and spices, they are deliciously sweet and fragrant as can be.

 

How can I save?

Get yourself a Morrisons More card and start racking up those points on every purchase. Once you get to 5,000 points you'll get a £5 off voucher, which'll buy you multiple packets of tasty buns. Plus, if you refuel your vehicle with Morrisons, you'll get those points even faster.

 

4. Chocolate Eggs

easter eggs traditional easter egg

What is it?

Do we actually need to tell you what an Easter egg is? You're probably eating one right now. It's chocolate in the shape of an egg, to be enjoyed at any time of the day or night. You might think of this as a modern invention, but there's a little history behind this traditional Easter food. 

 

Where is it from?

This is a French and German tradition that began in the 19th century, though the eggs were solid and not the huge hit we know them as today. In 1875, the Cadbury Brothers made the first Cadbury Easter Egg and after some tweaks — including perfecting the moulding process and the use of milk chocolate instead of dark — Easter Eggs became very popular, with 19 Cadbury Eggs on sale by 1893. The rest is delicious chocolate history.

 

Where can I buy one?

You can get Easter Eggs absolutely everywhere, but for something that's a cut above the rest, why not try this Thorntons White Chocolate Bunny Egg. Made with 100% cocoa butter, this looks so good we actually tried to take a bite out of it through our laptop (we don't recommend this).

 

How can I save?

ASDA has a "4 eggs for £10" selection, so you can quadruple up on your Thorntons egg, or mix and match with some more chocolatey treats — and save money in the process. 

 

5. Lamb Cake (Beránek)

traditional easter dinner lamb cake beranek

What is it? 

A cake in the shape of a lamb. If you're after something sugary that's a little different from Easter Eggs and hot cross buns, you can really impress your guests with this traditional Easter food from Czech Republic. This lamb cake is everything a cake should be — milky, buttery, dusted with a sugar coating and often garnished with shredded almonds. Serve after your main with some booze and it'll go down a treat.

 

Where's it from?

This traditional Easter cake most likely hails from the Czech Republic, though it's big across all of Europe. Obviously lambs are an important Easter symbol, but this particular dish could well originate from the southern Czech Sumava mountains, where there was a common tradition of travellers blessing a lamb to help find their way. Whatever the origin, it's a way to get your fill of dairy gloriousness after Lent, and it really raises the bah for Easter desserts.

 

Where can I buy it?

You'll need to make this one yourself as they aren't widely available in the UK. To get your lamb cake in the right shape, we recommend this Zenker Lamb Mould from Amazon. Then you can get to work with this Delish Lamb Cake recipe.

 

How can I save?

Save money on the delivery of your lamb cake mould by signing up to Amazon Prime Delivery. You'll get free standard and express delivery on millions of items, plus a subscription to Prime Video, Prime Reading, Amazon Music and more. Think of it as an Easter treat to self!

 

6. Red Eggs

traditional easter food red egg

What is it?

This is a fun one and great to do with the kids. These are red dyed eggs that can then be baked into Easter bread (tsoureki), or used as decoration. You can use artificial dye or colouring from an onion's skin.

 

Where is it from?

This is a traditional Easter food (and decoration) in the Greek community, stemming from the early Mesopotamian Christians and Orthodox Church. 

 

Where can I buy this?

These are super fun to make, and we especially like this recipe from The Spruce Eats. For eggs this special, nothing but the best will do, so you'll be after some Clarence Court Burford Browns

 

How can I save?

Save money on your eggs — and plenty more besides — with the Morrisons More App. You'll get 5 more points for every £1 you spend in store and every litre you fill up your car, plus there are personalised offers to match your buying habits. There are even special bonus clubs for students, teachers, NHS staff and expecting parents.

 

7. Paska Bread

paska traditional easter food

What is it?

Paska is a sweet, butter-filled egg bread. Tall, with a rounded top, it often has raisins and cherries and modern versions come replete with an egg-white glaze. Perfect for an alternative dessert that'll impress your house.

 

Where's it from?

Ukraine in Eastern Europe, though it has strong connections to the Russian kulich bread and traditional Easter food in Poland, Georgia, Bulgaria and beyond. It's pretty big in the US too, thanks to Eastern Europeans who moved there in the 19th and 20th centuries. Like a lot of food on this list, it seems to have emerged from pagan European cultures, with some theories suggesting the dome shape developed due to its similarity to an Orthodox Christian church dome, or perhaps that of a priest's hat. Either way, we love it.

 

Where can I buy it?

Impress your household by knocking up your own paska with the TasteAtlas recipe, for which we'd recommend Dove's Farm Organic Strong White Flour. The organic practices, high production standards and highest quality milling make this the baking flour your paska deserves. 

 

How can I save?

Get yourself a Nectar Card. One of the most enduring rewards cards on the British high street, Nectar is famed for its good value — plus you can collect points on petrol, train tickets through Great Western or Virgin Trains, holidays booked through Expedia and more. Your Easter shopping will come down in price before you can say, "happy delicious sweet things day!". 

 

8. Italian Easter Bread: Colomba Di Pasqua (Dove Bread)

traditional easter food colomba

What is it?

Italian sweet Easter bread in the shape of a dove. A close relative of the panettone, this gem of a dessert is full of candied fruit peel and topped with pearl sugar and almonds. The colomba di pasqua's dove shape is highly appropriate — this bread really takes flight in your mouth. 

 

Where is it from?

The colomba di pasqua is from the Lombardy region of Italy. There are a few versions of its exact origin story, but we like the one about King Albion of Lombardy threatening to destroy the city of Pavia in the 6th century, until a young girl baked him a cake in the shape of a dove as a peace offering. King Albion freed the girl and spared Pavia, so presumably it was absolutely delicious. 

 

Where can I buy it?

Ocado's Italian collection really does justice to the deliciousness of the colomba here. Serve the Ocado Colomba up with mascarpone and honey to make your Easter dessert truly complete. 

 

How can I save?

Allow us to introduce the Ocado Smart Pass. Consider it a one-way ticket to a land of free samples, exclusive gifts, a 10% saving on some of Ocado's best products and absolutely zero delivery charges. Shop smart with this brilliant way to save on your Easter desserts and beyond.

 

Other Ways To Get Your Fix of Traditional Easter Food

We hope we've given you some ideas of how to boost your Easter meal with some traditional fayre. As vaccines roll out, the sun begins to shine and life begins to get going again, it's the perfect time to embrace the sense of rebirth that Easter has to offer. To save more on your Easter meal, we highly recommend checking out:

Sources

Explore our Easter guides