The History of Easter Food

Families all over the country have something to celebrate on Easter Sunday. Kids cannot contain their excitement as they search for eggs all over the place. Adults order ham or lamb from the best butcher in town so they can prepare popular Easter foods that family members and guests to eat together. It seems that during Easter, people are encouraged to eat sinful decadents such as hot cross buns, simnel cake, chocolate eggs, cupcakes, pretzels, currant biscuits, and other sinful foods.

As you make and indulge in these Easter foods, do you know the meaning behind them? Let’s check out the origin of some of the popular foods you eat on Easter.

Hard-Boiled or Traditional Eggs

Most people, especially children, also think of eggs when talking about Easter. Easter and the spring season signify new life, and eggs are all about that too. Christians consider the egg as the symbol of the resurrection of Christ. The tomb that kept Jesus is the hard shell, while Jesus is the chick inside. People paint the eggs in different colours, but mostly red as a symbol of the blood of Christ when being crucified.

Hot Cross Buns

The Lent period typically forbids people to eat specific foods, such as those made from dairy products. Therefore, people eat hot cross buns as a sign of the end of Lent. The cross on top of the bun symbolizes the cross that Jesus was crucified.

Before, many people believed that if you bake hot cross buns on Good Friday, all the bread you will bake for the rest of the year in the same kitchen would turn out well, and hanging the hot cross buns would prevent house fires from occurring.


In the history of Easter, ham is one of the meals of choice because it was more available than lamb. Before the advent of refrigeration technology, people cured meat in the fall and they become ready to consume come springtime, mainly due to the slow process of curing. This made ham the perfect food to eat after the Lenten season. Today, many families opt for butcher home delivery so they can serve ham when it is time for Easter feasting.

Chocolate Easter Eggs

Instead of the painted eggs, people in the 18th century began creating Papier-mâché eggs and filled them with small gifts. Eventually, people turn to making chocolate eggs that are hard, solid, and made of bitter dark chocolate. Soon after, Cadbury worked with JS Fry & Son in 1873 and launched the chocolate Easter egg that has become popular onwards.


Eating lamb as an Easter tradition goes way back thousands of years in Egypt. God told the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb for every household and use its blood to mark their doors so that the Angel of Death would spare them and pass over their houses. After that, the lamb became the Passover meal.

Fast forward to modern times, lamb is one of the Easter foods that people make to celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the end of Lent. There are various ways to serve your lamb in your own Easter celebration. For convenience, consider butcher home delivery near me to have your meat, when planning to cook lamb kabobs, lamb chops, rack of lamb, roasted lamb, and so on.

Simnel Cake

In the pre-modern period, most parents feed their kids the simnel cake during the fourth Sunday of Lent. The modern version of the cake has undergone many improvements and adaptations of the recipe.

The simnel cake is a light fruit cake that has 11 marzipan balls on top as decorations, symbolizing the apostles of Jesus, minus Judas. This is why this cake is one of the popular foods in Easter. However, simnel cake is also part of the Mother’s Day tradition for many people in remembrance of Mothering Sunday.

As you plan your meal for Easter, make sure to include these traditional foods in some of your non-traditional choices. As you gather around, it would be great to share with others the symbolism of these Easter foods. Remember that you can choose the butcher delivery near me option when purchasing your meat.