Yesterday you read about the mystic powers of the Easter painted eggs. You know now that the tradition is ancestral, dated before Christ. You know the legend of the red Easter eggs and you know that this beautiful tradition prevails in the north of the country, where many other Romanian traditions survived time and political changes.
Dyed eggs are traditional food at Easter, but of course in this category we cannot include the beautiful hand painted eggs, which are emptied of their contents. Such eggs are purely decorative. Everywhere in Romania, in the Great Thursday, eggs are dyed in red, yellow, green, blue or black, each of these colors having its special meaning, for example red stands obviously for the blood of Christ, green is a symbol of passing from Winter to Spring and black stands for Jesus suffering on the cross.
Related to eggs we should not forget the traditional custom of knocking the eggs. This starts the first day of Easter and it continues till the Great Sunday. When cracking eggs the two parts involved should say “Christ is risen!”, and the answer to this is “He is truly risen!” – this is also the greeting that replaces the common “hello” till the Great Sunday. There are many superstitions related to this custom, one saying that the one whose egg cracks first will die younger than his oponent.
And speaking about traditional food, probably the most important “dishes” are Pasca (a version of cheesecake)
and Cozonaci (Romanian Panettone – variations of sweet bread in different shapes round or rectangular, symbolizing Christ’s grave – but the difference is that they are not an exclusive Easter dish, being also prepared for Christmas, weddings and other important celebrations).
I am not a big sweets fan, so back in Romania I wasn’t eating any of the two with much enthusiasm. Now I have no words to describe how I miss the taste of fresh Pasca with wine.
Last but not least, the traditional main dishes at Easter in Romanian are prepared from fresh lamb: lamb roast and drob (lamb haggis – spiced minced lamb organs with green onion, green garlic and eggs in lamb stomach).
Drob recipe, courtesy ExploringRomania.com:
- liver from a lamb
- heart from a lamb
- lungs from a lamb
- a lamb peritoneum
- 5 green onions
- 3 green garlic
- 2 tbs chopped green parsley
- 1 tbs chopped green dill
- 1 raw egg
- 4-5 boiled eggs
- 2 tbs sour cream
- 1 tbs oil
- salt and pepper
Boil the liver, heart and lungs in a pot. Wash the peritoneum and let it to cool. Take the boiled organs out on a plate and put them in the fridge (for at last 6 hours). Put the organs together with onion, garlic, parsley, dill and 2 boiled eggs through the hewing machine. Put the mixture in a bowl; add the raw egg, salt, pepper and the sour cream.
Grease a pot with oil or butter; lay the peritoneum at the bottom of the pot. The fat side of peritoneum must be inside. Put 1/2 of the mixture over the peritoneum. Align the rest of eggs in the middle ( in one piece or cut in 2 pieces). Then raise the margins of peritoneum the way an envelop is closed. Grace the whole thing and bake it in the oven for about an hour.
Can be served warm (cut in slices) as main dish near any kind of garnish but it’s more healthy to serve it cold like appetizer.