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Friday, April 22, 2011

A Simple Easter in the South

It will probably shock no one to hear that Easter in the South of France is a pretty subtle affair. Well, certainly subtle in terms of decoration - you won't find any giant pink baskets, artificial grass, or oversized bunnies here.  On the other hand, there are elegant Easter eggs a-plenty, artful baskets, and boutiques offering the latest home deco in bright, Spring colors.

And, above all, Easter in the South is about the religious celebration - starting with the traditional blessing of the "rameaux" (branches) during Palm Sunday (pictured below), through Good Friday and the culmination of Catholic festivities on Easter Sunday.

Personally, I'm counting the days until I can crack into one of those delicious chocolate eggs. I've been passing the Jeff de Bruges chocolate boutique these past weeks (above photo) hovering in the window & marveling at their dark wonders.  

We'll be celebrating Easter Sunday with grilled lamb, a Mediterranean salad (heavy doses of mint), and a bottle or two of Cremant - France's "other sparkling wine".  And did I mention I brought some Perugina "Baci" chocolates back from Italy that have been on "stand-by" for about a month? I've you don't hear from me for awhile, I've potentially slipped into a chocolate coma - nothing personal.

How are you celebrating the Easter holiday? Is food featured prominently in your festivities as well?

Happy Easter, Bon Pâques, e Buona Pasqua!


  1. I'd much prefer subtleness to over-the-top. A nice meal and a bit of chocolate sounds perfect. The Easter egg hunt is big in our house, it will be first thing. :)

  2. I love the bunny at the top, and those chocolates are looking good, too. I'm going to a friend's for Easter, so it's going to be an easy cooking day for me, as I'm only responsible for bringing dessert (chocolate eclairs and a Frasier.) Happy Easter, Bon Paques & Buona Pasqua to you, too, Tuula! Enjoy those chocolates!

  3. That salad sounds fantastic, Tuula! Would you share the recipe, perchance? :-)

    Happy Easter!!!

  4. I have been asked to bring a "green bean casserole" to the Easter lunch we are attending here...hmm. Very old fashioned indeed. Think I have found just the thing from Martha Stewart!
    Tomorrow, Saturday, there is a big Easter Egg Hunt here in the village. The weather should be gorgeous and warm, so we will go watch the children! Nice to have a relaxing weekend! Enjoy Tuula.

  5. Easter in the S.France sounds very similar to Easter in the South of Spain; very religious, lots of good food, but not so much chocolate (hubby had to go hunting for choc eggs). The weather so far has been rainy and grim in Seville, so all plans have been altered, and we've upped the anté on indulgent eating ;-)

  6. happy Easter and enjoy the chocolate always love the French chocolate shops and love the sound of your menu :-) rebecca

  7. I hope you had a fabulous Easter. The chocolate sound yummy. We are doing a family brunch with the grandkids before I head out to the Bistro for dinner service this evening.

  8. Thanks for all of the lovely comments :) We did have a very nice Easter - luckily the sun came back on Sunday afternoon so we were able to grill the lamb - added some cheese & peppers to our kabobs from a Greek recipe I found.

    Krista, the salad was from the same recipe - super easy. Just 2 parts cucumber & tomatoes, 1 part lettuce, mixed with parsley & mint, and then tossed with olive oil. Very light & tasty!

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter filled with good food & family :)

  9. Food and church is a large part of our Easter festivities. We go to church Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. The the entire extended family gathers at one house and we have a potluck lunch featuring ham, lamb, and a panoply of casseroles, salads and desserts.

    When I have hosted a modest lunch in the past, I usually have ham, asparagus, an egg dish, and lots of fresh dishes that are spring-inspired.

    I am steering the larger family into a more subtle, European approach to enjoying food and holidays. It is a bit of an uphill battle!

  10. Even I am not Catholic i am very happy when i heard that in some places the tradition still alive.
    To Vanessa: Easter in the south of Spain maybe is the more famous but also the more turistic and perhaps is the easter celebration that more has change in spain, in central spain like Leon, Valladolid, Zamora or Teruel easter still in the same way since medival times

  11. chocolate sounds perfect ..,

    i love it <3

  12. Goodness, look at that chocolate! The French sure do know their sweets.

  13. MMM! Exquisite chocolate! The wrappings are enough to make your mouth water!