Dubrovnik Traditional Sweet Easter Bread
Easter table is simply not complete without the superb taste of pinca
What’s so special about pinca and what are the tasty tricks of the trade while preparing this sweet and fragrant Dubrovnik Easter bread? This incredibly rich loaf-like cake is made with yeasted dough consisting of eggs, flour, and butter. It is usually shaped into a large round loaf. As simple as that. What’s the secret pantry ingredient we promised to reveal that will make your recipe stand out?
Drum rolls, please!
If you want to enhance your recipe you should add rozulin to the soft dough. Rozulin, Dubrovnik’s sweet liquor that smells like heaven, is made of the old-fashioned Centifolia rose petals, sugar, grappa, and preferably 40 days of sun. This is a special occasions ONLY liqueur for classy friends. It was a very valuable commodity in the Dubrovnik republic, what’s more, the Republic paid tribute to the Ottoman Empire in this precious and tasty brandy. We recommend learning more stories about the aspect of Dubrovnik’s diplomacy being entwined with gastronomy on our Early Bird Tour or the Evening wine tasting tour.
Pinca or fogaca – what exactly is the correct term?
On Palm Sunday it is a custom to take plaited palm leaves, hand-painted eggs, and fogaca to church. This particular custom is specific to Dalmatia and you will often notice plaited palm leaves decorating homes. Still today, families teach their children the art of weaving palm leaves. Feel free to join A-Team on the Politics&Religion tour this spring! We never forget to offer treats like pinca while explaining the customs of this predominantly catholic area, but more importantly, Passover is also celebrated in Dubrovnik’s Orthodox and Jewish communities. Oh, I must not forget to answer the question in the headline! Pinca or Fogaca; the latter is in the Dubrovnik dialect while the word pinca is commonly used in all of southern Dalmatia.
It is traditionally made on a Saturday before Easter and then served on Easter morning. Every grandmother has her variation – a slight twist that makes hers “the best.” Therefore some enrich the dough with strong citrus and vanilla flavors, while others add raisins, rum, or orange peel. Many Croatian households bake smaller loaves, which are given as a present to family and friends but only in Dubrovnik do we bake a unique long braided Easter egg bread. Usually, the red-painted eggs were planted in this bread, unless the family was in mourning, in which case the white shelled eggs were used. In the past, this special treat was gifted to the local priest, teacher, and doctor.
The Easter table is simply not complete without the superb taste of this loaf-like cake
This dessert was an indulgent delicacy invented to celebrate the end of Lent. Each fogaca is brushed with egg wash, decorated with coarse sugar, and the top is traditionally incised with a cross symbol. Elegant visual appearance makes this dessert the centerpiece of the family Easter breakfast. Other traditional foods that we eat in Dubrovnik on this special day are spring onions, radishes, cooked ham with horseradish sauce, and of course eggs.
“Each person takes an egg and challengers attempt to crack each others’ eggs. The breaking of the eggs is meant to symbolize Christ breaking from the Tomb. The person whose egg lasts the longest is assured good luck for the rest of the year.”
Warmer days are on the way and the city awakes from the winter slumber. Easter Sunday morning in the old city is the time when you’ll see just how much this day means to Dubrovnik. Coffee al fresco with sweet Easter bread and catching up with friends are on the diary this Easter.
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