Crescia – The Easter Bread from Le Marche

074My Family came to Canada in 1913 from the town of Pesaro in the Province of Le Marche, Italy.  Over the years, traditions were lost or no longer practiced as my ancestors blended more into the Canadian fabric.  But,  Crescia has always survive the test of time and it has now been alive and well for 4 generations in our Canadian family.  I’m sure it’s not the same as the one my great-grandmother (Bisnonna Laura) made, but I hope it’s a close resemblance.

Crescia is a vastly different bread, depending on the region of its origins.  It can be as thin as focaccia or as high as the crescia that originated in Pesaro. The later is the one that my Family has made for generations, though it was denser and did not rise as high as the one that I make. But, it is similar in its signature ingredients of eggs, pepper and cheese.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Easter breads are so laden with eggs. As you backyard chicken owners know, heritage breed hens take a break from laying eggs during the Winter and resume their production in the Spring which happens to coincide with Easter.   As well, eggs, cheese, meat and olive oil were historically omitted from the diet in Italy during the period of Lent so everyone must have been “chompin’ at the bit” to return to these foods after those 40 bland days!

As I write this post, the scent of baking crescia fills the air!  It reminds me of my ancestors who came to this great country over 100 years ago.  Times were a lot harden then, but they were also flavoured with great  traditions which always revolved around food.  Unfortunately, a lot of those great traditions have been lost or misplaced in our progression to a busier life. 

I’m not sure if we have made a good trade.  Perhaps, it’s worth “stepping back” now and then and carrying on some of those great traditions that remind us of roots and the journey that has brought us to today!

I hope I “did you proud” Bisnonna Laura…..Buona Pasqua!

If you would like to make crescia, check out my page

Drop me a line and let me know how you made out!