Yes, without the basket (obligatory to be made of wicker!, as pictured above) and its contents there would be no Easter in Poland. What do you put inside? Some bread, a piece of meat, salt, eggs, horseradish, cheese, a piece of cake and a figure of an Easter lamb (can be made of bread, butter, sugar etc.). More and more often the basket contains sweets and chocolate. Once you finish completing all the ingredients, many Poles take the basket to church for a blessing on the Saturday right before Easter. And there you go – half of the menu for your Easter breakfast on Sunday morning is already ready!
On Sunday morning Polish people, religious or even non-believers, have a proper family gathering which in fact is a small feast starting way before noon. The eggs are possibly the most significant symbol of the meal and at the same time its main component – they can be boiled and stuffed or served with mayonnaise, baked as a pâté or made into a bread spread… One thing is for sure – it will be hard enough for anyone who claims to be vegan to survive a Polish style Easter breakfast.
Soup for breakfast?
Another Easter menu staple is the sour rye soup (Polish: żurek). Yes, you may have noticed that the Polish love soups, and they even have one for breakfast come Easter time. The sour rye soup is preferably served in an edible bread bowl with egg halves and white sausage inside. Apart from that, every host puts a cold cut platter on the table, usually with the meat and sausages from the basket.
As a proper feast, the Easter breakfast in Poland would not be the same without desserts, too. The most important ones are two types of cake – mazurek and babka. The first one is a very flat cake made of short pastry with marmalade on top or between its two layers. The most important part is the top of a mazurek, which needs to be covered in jelly or fudge cream and decorated with nuts, raisins or chocolate. Babka (pictured left), on the other hand, makes up for the flatness of mazurek – it resembles a cylinder and is made of yeast with a sweet icing on top. Inside, it is usually dotted with chocolate, dried fruit or nuts, which could have been soaked in alcohol beforehand.
Everything ready in the kitchen? Just set the table with a fresh snow-white cloth and put some typical spring flowers in a vase (daffodils are Poles' go-to choice, with tulips, white lilies and hyacinths being other popular types), with a touch of boxwood leaves here and there. Remember about pisanki to put in bowls as a decoration and you are ready to host your Polish style Easter breakfast!