Sunday, March 16, 2008

Easter in Italy- the colomba

Easter in Italy is less tradition-bound than Christmas, as reflected in the saying Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi. You should spend Christmas with your family, but you can spend Easter with whomever you want. It just occurred to me that this almost sets up a contrast between spending time with family and spending time with people of your choice, as if they were mutually exclusive. But perhaps this reading is too naughty.

You, too, can give an Italian touch to your Easter by featuring the traditional Easter sweet, the colomba (dove, as it is dove-shaped). It is produced industrially by the same people who bring you the similar panettone and pandoro e.g. Motta, Bauli, and so on. In Italy you can also find artisanal colombe. I have seen the industrial ones in the US, but it seems that it is not widely known that these are Easter specialties, and they are sold at various times of the year. Italians in Italy also love large chocolate eggs, which are lavishly-wrapped, and usually have a little gift inside.