Easter Around the World & Capirotada Recipe {Mexican Bread Pudding}

Easter is being celebrated this week all around the world!  Some observe it with contemplative faith activities, culinary traditions and/or colorful eggs. When we decided to move abroad I didn’t realize how strange some of our U.S. traditions might come across to others, until I was explaining the Easter bunny to some of the nationals in this country and they looked thoroughly confused.

Our first Easter here in South America, we decided to have an Easter egg hunt, we dyed eggs and shared the Easter story with our new friends.  We asked our guest to bring a dozen boiled eggs and when they arrived I began to explain that we were going to dye the eggs and hide them.  They all went along with our activities and finally I had a brave national ask me, “But, why?”

I was a little caught off guard by the question as I had never really thought much about why we hide Easter eggs. In this country, Easter doesn’t include the  Easter bunny or dying and hiding eggs, it’s purely a religious celebration.  We try as a family to find ways to share our faith into our everyday activities with our kids and Easter is not any different.  So even though Easter is a foundational event in our faith and we want our kids to understand the importance but we’ve also weaved into some of our fun, egg hunts.

This past week I was pondering all of the Easter traditions from around the world as I prepared my article for the Miami Herald on Adventures on Multicultural Living (specifically focusing on traditions and how to intermingle both cultures into your new life). This got me thinking about all the different ways countries uniquely celebrate this holiday.

Some of my wonderful multicultural blogging friends shared some of their Easter traditions from around the world with me. Take a look there are some unique traditions that include getting whipped on the bottom, delicious culinary treats and amazing art traditions.  Capirotada is the Mexican tradition I grew up with below is the recipe.

Mexican Traditions:

lent food, easter around the world

I will start off by sharing with you one of our Mexican culinary Easter traditions. There are few dishes prepared around Lent and Easter like Romeritos and Capirotada that I have enjoyed but the one I mostly enjoyed in my childhood is the latter, Capirotada.

The scent of cinnamon and cloves in my kitchen definitely brought back fond memories of my mother in the kitchen whipping up some Capirotada for us, this time of the year.

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Capirotada is basically a Mexican bread pudding dish that dates back to the 1600′s. The dish is viewed by many Mexican and Mexican-American families as a reminder of the suffering of Christ. The bread is for the Body of Christ, the syrup is his blood, the raisins are the nails of the cross, and the whole cinnamon sticks are the wood of the cross. The melted cheese stands represents the white linen that was wrapped around the body of Christ. Kind of like the Resurrection Rolls  which also have symbolic ingredients, made in the U.S. by many at this time of the year.

Visit our Simple Celebrations FREE online flip-page magazine filled with recipes, crafts, home decor and inspirational encouragement.

capirotada mexican bread pudding

After my first bite, I was inspired by all the flavors bursting in my mouth so I asked my husband to go to the panaderia (bakery) and get me some more french bread because I wanted to try making a Pumpkin Capirotada and I also made an Apple Cinnamon Capirotada both were amazing.

It was a chilly evening here so we ate it for dinner around the fire. It can be eaten as a meal or as dessert it just depends on how you serve it.  Below is the basic Capirotada recipe.

Capirotada {Mexican Bread Pudding}

You will need:

  • 1 long french bread or 5 bollilo bread
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 2.5 cps of water
  • 2 cps of brown sugar or 1.5 pilloncillo cones
  • 1/4 cp of melted butter
  • 1/2 cp of raisins
  • 1 cp of shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cp of pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cp of apples diced (optional)

1. Cut bread up in chunks. Place the bread chunks in the oven and toast. (be careful it doesn’t burn)

2. In a small saucepan place the water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and cloves.  (This will make your house smell amazing) Let it come to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. It will thicken like syrup.

3. Spray a casserole dish lightly with oil and begin layering.

4. The layers are bread, raisins, pecans, cheese and syrup. Make sure the bread is covered in the syrup. Layer again and pour the rest of the syrup over bread.

5. Bake at 350 for 2o minutes, covered with foil. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.

Serve warm. About 6-8 servings.

You can read about our Cascarones (confetti filled eggs) tradition here.

Chezch Tradition

I had never heard of this tradition. The pomlázka tradition (an Eastern European Easter tradition where a whip made from braided pussy willow twigs is used by men to swat girls and women.  Yes, you read correctly. Men whip the women for Easter and then you give them a shot. Hop on over to read more about it at Incultureparent.com.

Polish Tradition

“In Poland, palms for Palm Sunday are made from pussy willows, and increasingly, colorfully painted straw flowers. These beautiful arrangements can be purchased from street vendors as well as in grocery stores. You can also dye and weave your own….”

This Polish Easter Craft, Palma-Wycinanka can be found over at Incultureparent.com.

Dominican Tradition

Bacalao is consumed in the Dominican Republic year round but is mostly prepared in almost all Dominicans households during Lent and Easter. You can find this great dish at Hungryfoodlove.com.

American Tradition

One of our favorite traditions is dying Easter eggs. Here Mama Smiles shows us how to decorate eggs using crayon shavings.

Italian Tradition

In Italy one of the foods they enjoy the week before Lent is” Chiacchiere is a fried dough, doused with powdered sugar, that is typically made before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It is made all over Italy, and is known by many different names, depending on the region. It is filled with indulgent ingredients that might be eliminated during Lent: sugar, white flour, butter, rum. This recipe is a delicious way to follow the global tradition of indulging before the fast….” You can find this delicious dessert over at Kid World Citizen.

Spanish Tradition

Becky shares her documentary on Semana Santa in Spain of the elaborate processions that carry religious figures through the cities to churches and basilicas which has grown and now draws tourists from around the world.

Guatemalan Street Decorations

guatemala easter tradition

“These special alfombras, the Spanish word for “carpets,” are elaborate street decorations made of colored sawdust, flowers or flower petals, pine needles, sand, rice, or even fruits or vegetables.” Read more about this lovely tradition over here at Kids World Citizen. Image by Nancy Hoffman.

For more Easter activities for the family go here. Visit our Simple Celebrations FREE online flip-page magazine filled with recipes, crafts, home decor and inspiriational encouragement.

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5 Responses to “Easter Around the World & Capirotada Recipe {Mexican Bread Pudding}”

  1. March 24, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Great article and that recipe looks so yummy! Thanks so much for sharing our article and craft!

  2. March 25, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    That recipe sounds delicious! And I remember seeing those beautiful sawdust rugs when I lived in Guatemala!

  3. March 25, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    Ah, that rug brings back so many memories of warm Semana Santas!

  4. March 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Oh damn that looks good! Thank you for sharing!

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