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Paska (from Ukrainian Паска, meaning Form) is an Easter bread eaten in Eastern European countries including Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, and parts of Bulgaria. It is also eaten in other countries with immigrant populations from Eastern Europe, including the US, Canada and the UK.
Paska is made with milk, butter, eggs, flour, and sugar, except in Romania, where the recipe most commonly includes sweet cream, cottage cheese, and/or sour cream along with eggs, sugar, raisins, and rum. An egg and water mixture is used as a glaze.
The Christian faithful in many Eastern Christian countries eat this bread during Easter. Christian symbolism is associated with features of paska type breads. The inside of paska can be a swirl of yellow and white that is said to represent the risen Christ, while the white represents the Holy Spirit. Other versions include chocolate, rice, or even savoury mixtures based on cheese. A version is made with maraschino cherries added to symbolize royal jewels in honor of the resurrection of Jesus.
Eaten with other foods
Paska is eaten with "hrudka", also called syrek, a bland sweet custard similar to cheese made from separated eggs and milk and beets mixed with horseradish (chren/hrin) and kielbasa (in Polish) or kovbasa (in Ukrainian).
Paska in the USA
Paska is believed to have been brought to the United States by both the Mennonites and the Molokans, and is served in the Midwest along with other Eastern European foods such as pierogi and kielbasa.
American paska ingredients
American paska is made from a mixture of flour, cream, sugar, eggs, butter, and yeast cakes. A cheese topping made from cottage cheese and egg yolks is sometimes spread on the slices. It is often frosted with creamy white frosting (icing), decorated with rainbow sprinkles. White raisins used in parts of the U.S. are said to symbolize the "living bread coming down from heaven". The bread is traditionally eaten at Easter.
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