Why being Greek Orthodox is cool.

Today is Greek Orthodox Easter.  (It’s also Easter for the Russians, Serbs and other segments of the Orthodox Church.)

Here’s why this rules.

1.  Our Easter typically does not coincide with Western Christian Easter.  You know what that means?  Half-priced candy.  Yes, that’s right.  While the rest of you pay retail, we swoop in the day after your Easter and get everything for 50% or less off.   This discount is a very good thing because we need every extra penny to pay for the rest of the extravagant feast we serve at our Easter table.

Discount gourmet bunnies, bitches!

2.  Red Easter eggs.  Really bright red Easter eggs.  While the rest of you are dying your eggs wimpy pastel shades, we are busy making ours like like they were dipped in a vat of blood.  This comes in handy if we are trying to spot them from a satellite.

Don't be scared. They don't glow in the dark.

We also play a fun game with them.  We take turns bashing the ends of the eggs with each other.  The last person to have an unbroken egg wins.

Food and aggression all rolled up into one custom.  How can you not love that?

3.  The Easter Feast.  Greeks are always amused when we hear things like, “I’m making a honey-baked ham for Easter.”

Bwahhahha.   Just ham?

People, we have at least three meat-based entrees.  Lamb is always a main character, flanked by other meats like turkey and ham.  Then there are a variety of pastas, salads, olives, feta cheese and anchovies.

Yes, you wimps.  We eat anchovies and we love them.

4. The dessert part of the Easter feast.  This is so decadent that it deserves its own number.  My hosts this year had at least four cakes, three different Greek pastries and another three Greek cookies.

The only thing missing was an insulin syringe.

5.  Wine.  My people have been drinking wine for five millenia.  Probably as far back as 3,000 B.C.  I think I had my first taste of wine when I was about seven.  (Of course, it was mixed in with a lot of water, but we were taught at an early age that a glass of wine is something that adults enjoy with their meals.  My father had a glass of wine or a beer every single night of his life with dinner.)

We are just a party culture.

So here I sit stuffed after this year’s Easter celebration.  I also may or may not be on a serious sugar buzz.   And I also may or not be wearing loose-fitting yoga pants right now because they are the only thing in my closet that won’t cut off my blood supply.

I wouldn’t know how to celebrate any other way.

Christos Anesti to all of my Eastern Orthodox readers.  And to the rest of you who celebrate the other Easter, thank you for leaving some great gourmet chocolate bunnies behind.

Categories: Food, not just for eating , Holiday rituals