Egg-painting, cooked ham and early-morning sprinkling of women and girls are all part of the Easter folk tradition in Hungary. In 2020 we might celebrate the holiday differently, some of the traditions will be definitely observed despite the quarantine. The Paprika Museum brings egg-decoration tips and paprika breadspreads to you for Easter.
What do we celebrate at Easter?
Easter is the greatest holiday of the Christian Church, when we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Its significance is greater than that of Christmas. Easter is a moveable feast: it falls on the first Sunday after the full moon on or after March 21. The English word „Easter” probably comes from the English goddess’ name „Eostre” who was celebrated in spring in pre-Christian England.
Paprika and eggs: food and art
The holy week leading to Easter sees a lot of customs and traditions in Hungary and elsewhere. Normally at this time of the year people suddenly start to bustle around. Everyone is busy going out, meeting people, taking fresh air and enjoying spring awakening. This year it couldn’t be different. As we’ll have to go without family reunions, sprinkling or visits, the only thing that seems to remain is painting eggs and do arts at home.
What do eggs have to do with Easter? The egg is a symbol of fertility and the start of new life. It’s closely related to spring and the idea of renewal and resurrection. Some say the red egg symbolizes Christ’s martyrdom, however, the tradition of egg-painting goes back to pre-Christian spring celebrations. Eggs used to be coloured with natural paints. Redwood, saw-wort was used to attain different shades of red. Safflower and crabapple tree bark was used for yellow colouring. Onion skin, the most widely used colourant, produces dark red-brown colour on the egg’s surface.
You may try red paprika powder also to colour eggshells. Add 5 teaspoons of paprika powder to a smaller pot of water, boil it for 20 to 25 minutes to get a nice colouring liquid. The colours will go from orange to light red. This same liquid may be used with the overlay technique: press decorative plant leaves onto the eggs (use a stocking for this purpose for example) and let the eggs sit in the colouring liquid for some time to produce a nice result.
Red and green peppers can decorate plates beautifully and add the best fresh taste to food. Sweet or hot red paprika powder can flavor all sorts of egg plates, like deviled eggs or breadspreads for the Easter table.
Paprika recipes for Easter and beyond
Our latest favourite is these two breadspread recipes we learnt from the Pioneer Woman
Although the Pioneer woman recommends these compound butter creams to top grilled steak, we tried it – for want of steak meat – on bread and it works wonders!
Smoked paprika and rosemary butter: mix sweet smoked paprika powder, fresh rosemary leaves cut into small pieces and salt into butter.
Our version of the Jalapeno lime butter is this: mix hot green pepper cut into small pieces, lemon (juice) and salt into butter.
Use these mixtures on bread, biscuits or hot meat.
Dear Paprika Blog Readers! PaprikaMolnar is wishing you happy Easter Holidays. Stay safe!
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