A gastronomic marathon for “tough” competitors and food-party animals brings the 40-day period of fasting to an end. It all starts when people return home from the midnight Resurrection Mass and have the traditional “mayirítsa”, a delicious lemon meat soup made with lamb offal and flavoured with fresh lettuce and dill. Spiced bread, fresh cheese and traditional boiled red eggs complete the event. The eggs are used for a special game this time of year. One player hits the bottom of the other player’s egg with the top of his own. Whichever egg loses, i.e. gets broken, is eaten.
When Greeks talk about Easter they are referring to the whole holiday period, but it is on the actual day of Easter (Easter Sunday) that the partying takes place. At the crack of dawn a lamb or a goat, the superstar of the Easter meal, begins to roast on the barbecues of Greece, some of which are improvised affairs constructed over holes dug in the ground.
In Central Greece they opt for lamb, whereas on the islands they prefer goat stuffed with spices, rice and chopped entrails. Some skill is required to cook some of the dishes and it is usually the experienced ones who will prepare the “kokorétsi”, a dish made with lamb’s entrails wrapped around a spit with its bowel, and the “spleenántero”, i.e. lamb’s bowel stuffed with its spleen. While the meat is cooking, housewives take fresh, unsalted cheese out of its cheesecloth and everyone starts nibbling away at finger food, salads and appetisers, such as the famous Greek dish “tzatziki”.
Now is the time for all the neighbours to prove themselves as accomplished amateur winemakers. Remember that “retsina”, although widely consumed in Greece, is not generally regarded as a particularly classy wine. But there is more to come to make your mouth water and give your eyes a feast when dessert is served: Easter plaited cookies and “tsouréki”, a kind of brioche with a red egg in the middle, are sure to enchant everybody with their sweet aroma. Delicious honey pies made of honey, eggs and mizithra cheese (a traditional, unpasteurized fresh cheese), and sweet cheese tartlets round off the gastronomic orgy.
Join us for music at full blast, folk dancing, red-egg games and an unforgettable food experience!