The daffodils are sprouting and the birds are singing… spring has arrived!
It’s time to step away from the TV remote and re-connect with friends and family who have been in hibernation all winter. Our spring recipe page is dedicated to food that’s just crying out to be shared, so why not invite your pals over to try it out.
Spring has always been a time of gatherings and celebrations, this can be seen across every culture. We thought we’d take a look at the type of celebrations soon to be taking place across the world and the kinds of food they traditionally serve. Even if your plans are leaning more towards an intimate dinner party than a massive street festival, it’s fascinating to see how many different ways people have found to celebrate this wonderful season.
Many different forms of Carnival take place across the world, from Italy to Brazil to Russia. What they all have in common is theatre and colour. People often dress up in costumes to take part in huge street parties, perhaps the most infamous taking place in Rio de Janeiro.
‘Carnevale’ as it is known in Italy literally translates as ‘farewell to meat’. Italians indulge before the Lenten period of fasting by eating crumbly puff pastry treats known as frappe, or the more unusual option of Sanguinaccio. As the name itself suggests, it has blood as its main ingredient. It is in fact a sweet custard made with dark chocolate and flavored with fresh pig blood!
Also known as the festival of colours or the festival of sharing love, this traditionally Hindu celebration has become popular across South Asia due to its fantastic atmosphere. Events kick off with a bonfire on the night before the main party where people gather to sing and dance. The next day, participants meet in the streets to play, chase and colour each other with powder and coloured water. A fitting way to say goodbye to the dark winter days.
During the festival, traditional and special dishes are given the Holi treatment by introducing fresh flavours and colours to give vibrancy. Sweets made of condensed milk, sugar, and sometimes chocolate are given as gifts. Sweet rice is also very popular, usually garnished with nuts, sultanas, and cardamom.
This Jewish festival goes back to the days of the Persian empire and involves exchanging gifts, donating to charity, and of course, food. Dressing up and wearing masks have also become tradition, probably influenced by the spread of Carnival across Europe.
A type of dumplings known as kreplach are a really special delicacy, these are filled with meat such as chicken or liver and served in a soup. Sweet options include a pastry known as hamantaschen, the pastry is rolled out and filled with poppy seeds and any combination of prunes, dates, apricots, apples, and chocolate. Yes please!
We’re well into the Easter season now, many of us probably kicked it off with a traditional Pancake Tuesday and the eternal question of jam vs lemon and sugar as the best topping.
This springtime celebration has transformed from its original Christian roots to something celebrated by many people of all cultures across the world.
An Easter Sunday roast, usually with lamb, is the most popular savoury dish, while Easter eggs have been crowding the supermarket shelves since just after Christmas.
If you choose to celebrate the new spring season with a party, why not try our fabulous spring-inspired recipes.