Anne's Blog

Assisi: Blessed Easter Cheese Breads

Date: April 24, 2019 - categories: , , , , , , , , , , , - 2 Comments

Keegan and Francesca missed the traditional Holy Saturday blessing of their Easter cheese bread – but the one they brought us on Easter day was one of the most delicious we’d received.

             Easter cheese breads reign at our table on Easter Sunday morning:

Peppa’s, too, was buonissimo – and the largest of all as you can see  here (Peppa’s cheese bread is in the middle):

She’d baked many as is the rural tradition: Easter gifts to family and friends.

We’d dropped in on Good Friday and Peppa had brought us into her guest bedroom to proudly show us all the goodness laid out on a bedspread, urging us to pick one.

As Pino had brought her more than a kilo of the savory sheep’s milk cheese of Norcia for her cheese bread-baking (one of the three cheeses needed in this savory bread), she wanted us to choose a big one.

She advised Pino on his choice, picking out il piu bello, il migliore di tutti”  (“the most beautiful, the best of all”):

On Holy Saturday, Peppa took a “representative” cheese bread to the small church of Costa di Trex up the road from her farm for the traditional blessing.

            Peppa and Luciana with our local priest at the Holy Saturday blessings at the church of Costa di Trex

As is tradition, each basket also held hard-boiled eggs, capocollo, salami, wine – foods for the Easter morning breakfast.  Salt and pepper are also put in: to sprinkle on the eggs which will be drizzled with the family olive oil Easter Sunday morning.  Capocollo, salami, prosciutto will top the cheese bread slices and red wine will top off the feast.

Some baskets blessed on Holy Saturday also hold la pizza dolce or the sweet cake the farmwomen bake in the outdoor bread ovens along with the savory cheese breads:

Each basket is a rural art work – and most are lined or  covered with hand-embroidered cloths:

After the blessings at the tiny mountain church of Costa di Trex, I followed the priest  downhill to the church at Pian della Pieve where an even larger group of rural friends had gathered for the blessings:

Here and there, some baskets bore “modern additions”:  chocolate Easter eggs wrapped in colorful foil:

Everyone headed home with their baskets after the blessing and an Easter wish from the priest which brought a chuckle to all: “Now, although I’ve blessed your breads, eating too much of all this goodness might still bring a stomach ache!”

Click here for  more on the cheese breads – and the recipe!

Read about – and see! – our rural  farm friends baking the breads

Read more about this tradition

Click here to read about Assisi’s Good Friday traditions

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