I remember the first time I heard two friends saying this to each other and holding the red painted eggs in their hand. The Romanian Orthodox Easter is one that I find beautiful, soulful and peaceful. I became interested in Orthodoxy as I started to rediscover Romania in 2011 and I was very lucky to meet Father Tanase in Prahova and Father Marius in Bucium, Transylvania. Two wise Priests with eternal love for people. I have kept a dialogue with Father Marius in order to understand more about Orthodoxy and I am learning the words of Arsenie Boca. Discovering Orthodoxy could be a cross-cultural experience for somebody like me, coming from a highly secularised country, Sweden. However, it feels absolutely natural for me !
When I visit an Orthodox church I am absorbed by the beauty of it, the rituals, the myrrh, the standing straight up. It is very calming and soothing for me. It slows me down and gives me a moment to think of what really matters in my life , what challenges and joys I have. It makes me connect to eternal love.
Easter comes with family gatherings and I am so lucky to have a Bucharestian family, with who I have shared many meals together, throughout those past 5 years.
So, what is my favourite Easter food ?
I will go straight to the eggs ! irst of all, Romanian eggs are some of the best, if not the best eggs in the world ! Romanian eggs are usually something I long for, even when it’s not Easter. They are rich and yellow, full of taste. They are perfect for eating boiled or fried, but they are also perfect to bake with. When you bake with Romanian eggs, coming straight from someone’s chicken in their garden, the things you bake taste heavenly ! I will never forget when I tasted 3 different eggs in the village of Mandra , Transylvania, staying a few days with Alina Zara Prunean and her family. Her mum went to pick up fresh eggs from their chicken and I could try them all. It was like a reminder of how nature speaks to us and we must not forget! Food is natural and our bodies are made for that. Our human bodies are not made for chemicals. We are nearly forgetting about this, in a society where things are measured in efficiency , massproduction, massdistribution, mass-this and mass- that. We must take a step back, be conscious and support our local producers.
The soil is fertile in Romania and there should be no need to import food. I see with resentment at fruit and vegetables being imported at big food chains and I completely take a stand against that and encourage people to eat local instead ! Especially in a warm country like Romania !
Another wonderful taste experience was when having Placenta in Dobrogea, where my friend Bianca lives. Radita, the neighbour, made a Placinta, out of this world, eaten in her garden, where the chicken walked freely and my kids where so happy !
So , coming back to Romanian Easter, the eggs are my absolute favourite . The red eggs, and the expressing of the phrases with each other, is really Romanian Easter for me. I also love having the eggs filled, as my friend Maria makes them ! She is one of the women I keep coming back to when I wish to learn about Romanian cooking and cuisine. She makes the food with a smile, with her heart and her soul speaks. You can simply feel it. In her family we eat together , joke, and just enjoy each others company. When weather allows it we sit under her grapevine or on the terrace and we enjoy that meal together .
Lamb is also on the table and important. So is Cozonac. But that is another article !