Swedish and Dutch Easter food traditions
Happy Easter everyone!
Vrolijk Pasen allemaal!
Glad påsk allihopa!
The plan was that my parents would come this Easter to see their grandchild for the first time. She was born in October last year but because of corona my parents haven’t been able to visit yet. I hope that the virus will be more under control in both Sweden and the Netherlands that we can see each other soon. Missing the rest of my family too!
With a child, I’m interested in what traditions from each country we will take and mix into our own family traditions. That is something that is in development. For now, what do Swedes eat for Easter? What do Dutchies eat for Easter?
Swedish Easter food traditions
Of course Swedes celebrate it on a different day. We don’t celebrate Christmas on Christmas day but on Christmas eve; it’s Midsummer on Midsummer eve not Midsummer day and Easter is celebrated on Easter eve, not Easter day. Is this because we need to cure the hangover on the day?
Actually we start on Maundy Thursday (Skärtorsdag), but having nothing to do with the traditional Christian celebrations. As a kid, you would dress up as a witch or wizard (basically like babushkas and grandpas) and hand out candy or hand-made Easter cards (depending on the region) to neighbours. We say that witches go to Blåkulla during this day.
For Good Friday I can’t remember eating anything special and here in the Netherlands it’s not a public holiday. We didn’t do anything special. My boyfriend worked and I had my Mama day – so nice (my day off from work, my boyfriend has a Papa day) 😀 Traditionally in Sweden you would eat salted fish.
On Easter eve, it’s finally time for the smorgasbord Påskbord! It’s basically the same type of food that we have for Christmas: Pickled herring, salmon, Janssons frestelse (a potato gratin with anchovy, though I think the vegetarian version with mushrooms and a ton of spices – to mimic the tinned anchovy – is a lot tastier), ham, candy and a special fizzy drink that we also drink at Christmas. And of course eggs! Lots of them!
In later years, eating lamb at Easter is becoming more and more common. At our house here in the Hague we had a craving for Christmas ham or Easter ham – same thing. We went for that, Swedish meat balls, smoked salmon, deviled eggs and oven-roasted potatoes. We didn’t have any energy to prepare more vegetables than chopping up some cucumber and an avocado. Wanted to hang out with baby more 🙂
Dutch Easter food traditions
Easter is celebrated in the Netherlands on Easter Day. Typically with an extravacant breakfast with lots of sweet things.
One thing that has to be on the table is Matzes. This is a Jewish unleavened bread that is eaten at Pesach to remember the slavery and escape from it in Egypt. Somehow this tradition made its way into Dutch Christian Easter traditions and big round matzes are sold during Easter. Small round matzes are sold all-year round. The big round ones go on sale after Easter and I try to get a whole bunch because it’s cheap (how very Dutch of me :P) and I love matzes with butter, cucumber and cheese. On Easter you eat them with butter and a generous spoon of sugar.
Other staples are croissants, luxury breads and of course eggs!
We went for Matzes, eggs, peach smoothie, Easter stollen (German holiday fruit bread), Paasbokkenpootjes (yellow Easter Goat Legs, a cookie to scare away the devil, the devil is symbolized with the goat leg), croissants, macarons and eggs. Baby got some apple puree. Not really her favorite (yet) 🙂
During the day, kids go look for chocolate eggs. Baby is too small for this still, so we chilled at home the rest of the morning. A perfect Sunday morning!