why do we eat lamb on easter sunday
Why Do Greeks Roast Lamb at Easter? Written by in,
on Why Do Greeks Roast Lamb at Easter? On Holy Saturday, Greeks all over the world are busy preparing the lamb for the Easterб feast the next day. Lemon juice, herbs, salt, and spices are massaged into the skin so they can infuse the lamb with flavor before it gets placed on the spit, or souvla. The method for preparing the lamb depends on the family and what region of Greece they are from. Some roast a whole lamb on a spit, others barbecue the legs on the grill, and still others roast it in the oven. One thing is certain Б it isnБt Easter without it! In fact, Greeks arenБt the only ones who feel this way. ItБs a common Easter dish for many cultures, especially throughout Europe. Where did this tradition of roasting a lamb at Easter even come from? The religious significance of lamb began in the Old Testament. In Genesis 22, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham obediently obeyed God and made his preparations for his sacrifice. When Isaac saw what his father was doing he asked, БThe fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? Б Though Abraham didnБt really want to, he was willing to do what God wanted him to do. When God saw that he was willing to obey, He told Abraham to stop. Abraham sacrificed a nearby lamb, instead. In the Old Testament, lambs were offered as a sacrifice to God to atone for their sins. John, the author of one of the four Gospels, called Jesus the Lamb of God in John 1:29 and John 1:36.
As illustrated in the story illustrated above about Abraham, sacrificing an animal, such as a lamb or a ram, was an important part of the Jewish religion. In Isaiah 53:10, the practice is referred to as a Бguilt offeringБ. By doing this, people offered God restitution for the sins they committed. As Christians, we no longer need to engage in this practice. Because Christ died on the cross for our sins, he became the sacrificial lamb. Since Pascha, or Easter, is the day where we commemorate JesusБs sacrifice, we eat lamb in remembrance of this selfless act. There are some differences as to how the lamb is prepared depending on the family and even the region of Greece. By far, the most common way for Greeks to cook the lamb is by placing it whole on a souvla, or spit. Though you can find mechanized spits that turn automatically, those are fairly rare. Instead, taking turns rotating the lamb is an important part of the feast. In some families, the men are responsible for taking care of the lamb while the women make the rest of the preparations. This meal typically takes place on Pascha or Easter. Some families eat their lamb in the early morning after they return from the Holy Saturday service because theyБre eager to finally break the fast. Others wait until later on the day until the entire Greek family and friends come over to celebrate. Source: Categorized in:, This post was written by GreekBoston. com Tradition: Why do we Eat Lamb at Easter Time?
Jon Thorner from Jon Thornerвs butchers in Somerset examines the tradition of eating lamb at Easter time. British lamb is acknowledged as some of the best in the world and new-season lamb is a true herald of spring. There are many references to lamb in the history books as a symbol for Easter and this relationship continues today, with spring lamb being the most popular choice to serve at the dinner table during this religious event. But another simple explanation as to why lamb is significant at Easter is because this is when the first lambs of the season are available. Spring lamb is about 3-5 months old, and lamb is anything up to 12 months. Lamb really is one of the most natural free range meats you can buy, because apart from a short period undercover during a harsh winter, they usually spend their lives grazing the pasture, which is what gives lamb itвs fabulous, unique flavour. The first lambs of the season have a flavour that is delicate and subtle, and incredibly tender. Try not to over-power this freshness when cooking; keep it simple. Use fresh herbs, seasonal vegetables, light sauces and keep the meat pink when serving, which will retain all that juicy flavour. Try your best not to dry the meat out when cooking. Spring lamb is fantastic cooked on the barbecue в ask your butcher to butterfly a leg of lamb, marinate with garlic and rosemary then cook, either on the barbecue or in a hot oven simple and delicious.
When choosing lamb look for firm, pinkish meat with creamy white fat. Young lamb will have bright pink bones, which become paler as lamb gets older. As with beef the flavour improves when itвs hung, so you should source a good butcher who will supply quality lamb. Itвs always recommended to buy as locally as you can, but during the months when English lamb is in short supply, New Zealand lamb offers a fantastic alternative. Our similar climates and pastures give lamb that delicious flavour. At Jon Thornerвs the lamb is sourced from farms based in the South West, and also from Tom Wheeler in Beckington. As the season progresses, the flavour of lamb becomes more developed. Beyond a year lamb is called hogget and over two years it is called mutton. Hogget and mutton are perfect for slow cooked recipes, such as curries, as they work well with strong ingredients, but now is the perfect time to enjoy this new season meat and its delicate flavour. Lamb is an incredibly versatile meat, and very easy to cook. Insert sprigs of rosemary and slivers of garlic into a leg of lamb and gently roast and you have the perfect Sunday lunch. Marinate chops or steaks in a fresh mint sauce and pan fry for a delicious midweek meal. Serve rack of lamb with a fresh herb and mustard crust, with seasonal vegetables, for a showstopper dinner. Visit your butcher and sit down to a delicious meal this Easter.
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