Easter food traditions in the UK

Why is easter celebrated in the UK?

The first thing many of us likely think of when it comes to easter is chocolate and chocolate eggs. However, this is a relatively new tradition with the holiday and there are actually a number of other easter traditions that can inform what foods are eaten around this time. In this post we’ll be taking a deep dive into the history of easter food traditions to give you a better idea of what to serve when the weekend comes around.

Easter is one of the most important dates in the Christian calendar, as it celebrates Jesus’s resurrection after he was crucified. During the period of lent, which lasts from Valentine’s Day until March 28th this year, Christians will give up certain foods such as milk, butter, and meat. On Easter Sunday, these eating restrictions are lifted and the main meal served on this day typically features many of the foods that people had gone without for lent. This can also happen on Good Friday (the day when Christ is said to have died on the cross) as it’s the day after the end of lent.

For those that aren’t Christian, easter still serves as a good excuse to get family and friends together to share a meal. A big part of this is still centred around food though. While the kids are off enjoying an easter egg hunt, the adults need something more substantial for their appetites.

What meat to eat at easter

As we’ve mentioned easter is a significant occasion to many people, so it warrants a special meal. The best way to go about achieving this is to cook an amazing meat cut as a centrepiece. As the host, you should focus on elements of the easter meal that can be easily shared between everyone, and a large joint of meat is a perfect solution. Lamb holds a special significance at easter, as it symbolises the sacrifice that Jesus made in accepting responsibility for our sins. However, there are some other kinds of meat which have become traditional at this time of year too.

Leg of lamb

There are many lamb cuts which can work well for an easter feast. However, leg of lamb is often thought of as the most traditional on top of being absolutely delicious. Skilled butchers can trim this cut around the exposed bone to make it easier for carving once cooked. Leg of lamb is often best cooked in the oven with garlic and rosemary for around 2 hours, although time will vary depending on the weight of the meat.

Gammon Joint

Alongside lamb, gammon is among the more popular meats eaten at easter. While it doesn’t have any of the religious significance that lamb does, pork cuts like gammon are typically readily available throughout Europe during springtime. Taken from the hind legs of the pig, a gammon joint can be cooked and served in a wide variety of ways to great effect. It’s salty and rich flavour can also pair well with a range of unusual ingredients.

Roast chicken

While far less traditional, an easter chicken can tie into the theme of eggs and the cycle of life from death. The game flavour of the chicken adds variety to the traditional Sunday roast, which would usually be served with some kind of red meat. As with a roasting joint, a whole chicken gives hosts the opportunity to carve at the table and add a bit of gravitas to the occasion.

Locally sourced meat for easter

The Village Butchers sources all our meat from trusted local farms across the UK. We work closely with our providers to ensure we’re well stocked throughout the year, and especially at times of celebrations like Easter. As an online butcher, you can get the quality meat cuts you want delivered straight to your door when you buy from us. We don’t just stock large cuts of meat either, our butcher’s deli has a huge range of cured meats, sausages, pies, and more to supplement your meals. Get in touch if you have any questions about how our delivery works.

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