Easter in Umbria is distinguished by traditional recipes and flavours that have deep roots in the most ancient traditions of the area.
The tables of the Queen elect of the green heart of Italy are laden with sweet and savoury delicacies that not only please the palate but also often become part of the history and habits of local families: in fact, the preparation of Easter bread or ciaramicola is an occasion to spend time together in the kitchen, rediscovering ancient recipes and exchanging secret ingredients and tips.
A kind of ‘celebration within the celebration’, featuring atmosphere and good food: therefore here are the typical Easter dishes in Umbria.
Easter Cheese Bread
Easter bread or cheese bread is one of the most common and tasty foods linked to Easter in Umbria. Flour, eggs, milk, cheese, salt and pepper are some of the ingredients of this savoury and flavourful bread which requires quite a long preparation, while not too complicated.
Umbrian cheese bread is eaten with cold cuts, especially capocollo or salami.
According to tradition it is eaten on Easter morning, for the typical breakfast of this special day which should also include hard boiled eggs and wine.
Fluffy in texture with an unmistakeable scent of cheese, it is truly delicious and although today it is baked at home in electric ovens, once upon a time it used to be prepared according to an actual ritual that brought together the women of the villages and small towns, when the bread was baked in collective wood-burning ovens, offering precious moments to socialise and share, with a truly unique flavour.
Lamb and Lamb’s Pluck
Another essential element on Umbrian Easter traditional recipes is lamb.
Prepared as a roast, in the oven or on the stove, according to tradition as well as the preferences of each family, it is the typical second course of Easter lunch.
Lamb also gives us an ingredient that is usually used as a starter, on Easter day: lamb’s pluck.
Made of offal and stewed, it is unique and flavourful, also famous for the tasty sauce it is immersed in, ideal for “mopping it up with bread”.
Moving on to Easter sweets: here the unrivalled Queen at Umbrian tables – especially in Perugia – is ciaramicola.
Not only is it delicious, but it is a treat for the eyes, a sort of large ring cake with alchermes liqueur giving it a unique flavour and, inside, its signature pink colour.
On the outside it is covered with white meringue, sprinkled with coloured hundreds and thousands. This cake is a tribute to the city of Perugia, represented by the red and white colours.
Sweet Easter pizza
This dessert is also sometimes called pizza in other cases sweet Easter pizza.
It is part of the tradition in Umbria and Central Italy, it is cylindrical in shape, similar to panettone, but narrower at the bottom and larger at the top. Its flavour is unmistakeable, also thanks to the ingredients used to prepare it: spices and flavouring, raisins and candied fruit.
It is ideal for healthy and rich breakfast or snacks, also excellent dipped in milk or a latte.