British Easter Feast

Britain has several Easter food favorites.

Good Friday would start with Hot Cross Buns toasted and smothered in butter.   A Hot Cross Bun is a bread roll that is spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice and scattered with raisins, currants and candied peel.  They have a long history, it is thought they may originate from St Albans, in Cornwall, England.  It is said that Brother Thomas Rodcliffe, a 14th-century monk at the Abbey,  developed a recipe called an ‘Alban Bun’ and gave the bun to the local poor on Good Friday, starting in 1361.  The Cross on the top of the bun is to represent the Cross of Jesus. The eating of the buns marked the end of Lent hence eating them on Good Friday.

Hot Cross Buns

The traditional Easter cake is a Simnel Cake.  This is a light fruit cake that has a layer of marzipan across the center and another layer on the top of the cake with 11 balls of marzipan representing the 12 Apostles minus Judas.

Simnel Cake

Easter dinner is usually a roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings.  At this time of year, Jersey Royal potatoes are coming into fruition. These are a new potato of the International Kidney variety. They are known for their very thin skin and yellow coloring.  There has been debate that they don’t taste as distinctive as they used to. The traditional method of farming them has changed: farmers no longer use seaweed as a fertilizer and some have claimed this has affected the taste.  Along with the lamb and new potatoes, cabbage and carrots are served as the vegetables. Lamb is also traditional served with mint sauce. This can be purchased commercially or easily made. It combines mint leaves, water, sugar and vinegar.  The Spruce Eats website has an easy to make recipe.

A Traditional leg of lamb

There is no set dessert for Easter dinner like there is for Christmas in the UK (think Christmas Pudding).  Given how big chocolate is at Easter, some sort of chocolate cake is always popular. Here are a couple of examples from the BBC Good Food website.

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