I love trying out new things, so Easter season at German bakeries is a time that’s ripe with opportunities to indulge my curiosity. Easter is an important time in German culture, both socially and spiritually. Schools take a week off, and many families take a long vacation the week of Easter. Of course, church and Christian traditions play an important role, too.
But today, it’s the German bakery tradition of sweet Easter breads, cookies, and cakes that’s the subject of my attention. This spring I’ve seen beautifully-decorated easter cookies in the shapes of chicks, bunnies, and eggs. I’ve seen those big fluffy German beer pretzels become sweet instead of savory during Lent as sweet Easter pretzels for sale at many of the local bakeries.
When we were in Innsbruck, a friend bought a loaf of sweet raisin Osterbrot, or Easter bread, for our little group to taste, which inspired me to try at least some of the other sweet Easter treats here in Bavaria before the end of the season. Enter: the Osterhase.
The Osterhase is the German Easter bunny, and when I discovered that the bakery in my neighborhood had two different sweet Osterhasen in its window, I set out to answer the question, “What’s in an Osterhase?”.
I bought both of the bakery’s Osterhasen, though one of them wasn’t called Osterhase. It had a different name (Oster something or other – Ostehaer, ), which I’ve since forgotten.
It’s a good thing I took pictures:
I tried a bite or two of each bunny before slicing them open down the middle to compare their insides. The result? They were exactly the same!
The closest American food I can compare the Osterhase to is a glazed donut. The Osterhase were quite a bit more dense than a donut, but the idea was pretty much the same.
If all goes as planned today, I’m going to indulge in yet another new thing: Baking my own German lamb cake. These little cakes are part of the German Easter tradition, too, and I hope that I can find time to pick up a recipe, ingredients, and a cake mold today so I can write about it before the holiday has passed. Wish me luck!
Have you tried any traditional Easter snacks or learned about any cool Easter traditions in places you’ve lived or traveled to? Leave a comment, and don’t be afraid to share a link!