Easter, a joyous celebration that has stood the test of time with festive glory with Easter dishes passed on from generation to generation. And about food, of course Les Tables, your gastronomic club, loves to tell you about it. Easter is just around the corner so to give you ideas for your Easter brunch, we've already got inspiration for you! So read on quickly to find out more about the top 8 Dutch authentic dishes. And because we Maastricht people live in a beautiful Euregional environment, we also touch upon our neighbouring countries with their Easter delicacies.
Center of attention: the Easteregg!
A little bit of history about the colorful Easter egg
According to ancient Pagan customs, the egg stands for fertility. And what's in a name... the Germanic goddess of light and spring is called 'Eostra', almost like Easter. The most famous Easter tradition is, of course, the painting and hiding of eggs. The bright vivid colors used to paint the egg represent sunlight and spring.
The Easter Egg in Europe
In Italy, the fertility of the egg is central and therefore families give each other chocolate eggs containing a sweet little gift. In England, you have the famous creamy eggs. These are chocolate eggs with white and yellow sweet cream inside, a real delicacy! And the Germans do what they do best, organize festive markets. At the German Easter market you can buy gigantic chocolate eggs, some more artfully decorated with chocolate frills and frills than others. German chocolatiers can display their craft in all its glory at Easter.
Bird's nests and 'sop mit aaiers'
But what do we do in the Netherlands? Well, of course we hide the chocolate and painted eggs in the garden so that the children have hours of searching fun. Also, many people have small chocolate Easter eggs in the cupboard or in a bowl already a month in advance. Delicious to snack away.
But that's not all.
In Friesland they eat eggs in soup. Sop mit aaiers' is what they call it there. At least four eggs per person in a soup based on vegetables from the new spring season! And if we go to one of our Southern provinces we find the 'bird's nest' there. In North Brabant it is customary to eat hard-boiled eggs in a layer of minced meat at Easter.
And let's not forget the glass of eggnog that is often drunk before or after Easter dinner. It is a thick, yellow, alcoholic drink made from egg yolks and sugar in brandy. Deliciously alcoholic sweet that will give you red blushes on the cheeks after a second or third glass!
The egg might be in the center of attention, however, all these delicious Easter dishes cannot be disregarded: Sweet Easter bread and pie, mouth-watering lamb and....salty periwinkles!
Ora di pranzo, Essenszet, dinner time et le repas!
Lamb is especially central to Easter Sunday in our neighboring European countries. In Germany, France, Italy and England, leg of lamb is always eaten on Easter Sunday. In England, this leg of lamb is roasted and served with a special mint sauce and various vegetables. In Germany, roast lamb is usually eaten with asparagus and potatoes. But also "rouladen dumplings", beef with potato noodles, red cabbage, spring peas and carrots are very popular on Easter Day. In Italy, there is also a lot of picnicking and barbecuing in nature on Easter Monday.
Tour of the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, the lamb plays a lesser role but the bread all the more! We have found some nice Easter bread (-vlaai) dishes that we will certainly not withhold from you.
The sweet incursion into Limburg
Limburg would not be Limburg if we did not turn the Easter bread into an Easter flan. The Limburg flan that most resembles it is Rijstevlaai. But the white Paasvlaai is more sober than Rijstevlaai. The white Easter flan is not decorated with whipped cream and no eggs are used in the batter. So why is it called the white Easter flan? Because they were consecrated by priests!
But above all, let's not skip the Maastricht Easter bread. Richly filled with spices, candied orange peels, raisins, nuts and decorated with almond shavings. After Lent, everything is allowed again and you can see that in this Burgundy bread that must be spread with a generous layer of butter.
You can find a healthy dish in the north of Limburg. In Weert they have the Apostles soup. This soup is based on no less than 12 vegetables from the spring season.
Twente is cracking
If we then go even further north via the eastern side of the Netherlands, we find sweet Easter pretzels made of puff pastry in Twente. These pretzels also used to have a romantic function during Easter time. If you had found the girl of your dreams you tied the pretzel to her with a ribbon. Love and food remain inextricably linked!
And then hop, across the Netherlands to the Zaan region. There, the Duivekater is baked: an elongated, oval, sweet white bread. It is a floor bread based on butter, lemon peel and milk. It is also generously spread with cream butter.
Periwinkles with currant bread
And from the Zaanstreek we slowly descend again to Zeeland. Where, not so long ago, a home for the elderly revolted because they were not served periwinkles with raisin bread at Easter. What do you say? Periwinkles. Yes, definitely or Wrinkles. These are sea snails that can be found on the waterfront at low tide. They are served on currant bread at Easter. A delicacy for the lover! And the elderly in the retirement home... they finally got their periwinkles!
Do you want to know if there is also Maastricht Easter bread or English lamb with mint sauce in the Easter dishes of the fancy chefs of Les Tables? Then keep an eye on our social media and find your favorite Easter dinner!
PS. Will you let us know who won with 'egg tapping'? ;-)