Paska (bread)

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Martiniouk Paska.JPG
Traditional Ukrainian Paska with a Trypillian pysanka and willow
Type Sweet bread
Place of origin Ukraine, south Russia
Main ingredients Milk, butter, eggs, sugar
Cookbook:Paska  Paska

Paska (Ukrainian: Cyrillic Паска, meaning Easter, from Hebrew pésakh passover) is an Easter bread eaten in Eastern European countries including Ukraine, south Russia, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Georgia and parts of Bulgaria. It is also eaten in countries with immigrant populations from Eastern Europe, such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Traditional ingredients[edit]

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.

Christian symbolism[edit]


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.[1]

Eaten with other foods[edit]


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 United States[edit]

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.[2][3]

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".[4] The bread is traditionally eaten at Easter.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joan Halmo Celebrating the church year with young children Liturgical Press, 1988 ISBN 0-8146-1580-5, ISBN 978-0-8146-1580-5 159 pages page 43
  2. ^ James M. Anderson [Ethnic groups in Michigan] Michigan Ethnic Heritage Studies Center Ethnos Press, 1983 University of Michigan 301 pages page 71
  3. ^ Carolyn Louise Moore Zeisset A Mennonite Heritage: A Genealogy of the Suderman and Wiens Families, 1800-1975 Zeisset, 1975 University of Wisconsin - Madison 348 pages
  4. ^ Lisa A. Alzo Slovak Pittsburg Arcadia Publishing, 2006 ISBN 0-7385-4908-8, ISBN 978-0-7385-4908-8 127 pages page 114
  5. ^ Frederic Gomes Cassidy, Joan Houston Hall Dictionary of American regional English Harvard University Press, 2002 ISBN 0-674-00884-7, ISBN 978-0-674-00884-7 1040 pages page 48