Quite sad, but true!
I was quite surprised when one day I innocently asked about the ‘Coniglio di Pasqua‘ (the Easter Bunny) and was given a blank stare back. He just doesn’t exist here as we know him. Bambini here do not go to bed bursting with excited anticipation as they wait for the Easter Bunny to deliver them chocolate eggs. No Easter egg hunts either, and you can forget about the Easter Bonnet parade. If you see any of this activity here, you can be sure that it’s the workings of some expat as will be the case with me when Matteo is old enough to appreciate the Easter Bunny and the delightful gifts he has to offer!
But thank goodness one thing does exist here and in plentiful supply too – Chocolate! Very good quality chocolate!
Wandering around Florence this week, I drooled at all the wonderful windows displaying their artisan, chocolate creations. We are staying in Florence for Easter for the first time in many years so may even brave the crowds on Sunday morning when the Scoppio del Caro is taking place. I wrote about this Florentine tradition last year here.
Children in Italy decorate hard-boiled eggs for Easter and then take them to church on Easter Sunday to be blessed before eating them at lunch. Chocolate eggs are also taken to be blessed and of course then taken home and also eaten. (preferably after lunch!)
My Calabrese Nonna used to make a pastry around hard-boiled eggs which was more for decorative purposes than for eating. As children we weren’t ever too tempted to eat them. I found the image below of these pastries on a great blog, Impastando a Quattro Mani. These are exactly as my Nonna used to make.
One thing that frustrates me here at Easter is the price of lamb! Being Australian, where nothing beats a good lamb roast, it was surprising to discover that it is not as popular here in Tuscany so usually costs hardly anything and the cuts available are not the best either. It is however the traditional meat eaten here for Easter, and so of course. there is an abundance of really good quality lamb around now but at ridiculous prices. I couldn’t help myself though and bought some lamb chops for our lunch tomorrow.
One thing is certain, I will be indulging in a lot of chocolate! I have to eat Matteo’s share as he is still too young to eat it himself. It’s just one of those sacrifices I’m willing to make!