Easter food in Italy: Pagnotta Pasquale

Through this story we want to take you to a special place, a place rich in history, culture and beautiful landscapes, a place near the city of Cesena on the heights of the Romagna Apennines.
When we visit the village of Sarsina we can admire first of all the nature, the green landscape is impressive, the forests within it are centuries old and rich in local fauna, encapsulating all the beauty and historicity of the place. This village was founded by the Romans, but previously it was the Umbrian people who lived here around the fourth century BC.
Around the first century B.C. it became a Roman municipium and remained so until the Middle Ages, this town had in fact a very important role for trade contacts between Ravenna and Rome.
Thanks to the ancient history surrounding this town there are also many cultural and food and wine traditions surrounding it.

Sarsina: between culture and tradition
As we have already mentioned Sarsina is a village full of traditions rooted quite a bit in the past.
One festival that relates to Roman rule is precisely the one that takes place every second Saturday in July, and it is not the only one.
During the summer period this small village comes alive with vitality and people flocking from all over the world to attend the San Vicino Feast at the end of August, but not only that, it is important to point out that in Sarsina, in the town cathedral, the collar of San Vicino is kept, a relic that is particularly special for the faithful.
Another important holiday for the town of Sarsina is the Sagra della Pagnotta Pasquale (Easter Loaf Festival). On this occasion the advent of Easter is celebrated on the two Sundays preceding it; the main dish of this tradition is precisely the Pagnotta Pasquale, a typical local dessert, but not the only one; it is always accompanied by tastings of Salsiccia "Matta" and the rustic "guscioni."
In the beginning the Pagnotta Pasquale was eaten on Easter Day, even at breakfast combined with eggs, salami and good wine (local wine), to today it is eaten earlier to celebrate Easter and the arrival of the beautiful season.

Ingredients and meanings
The traditional Pagnotta Pasquale (Easter loaf) has an ancient recipe that has certainly undergone variations over time, because as society changes so does the cuisine change with it but the tradition has always remained the same since the first celebrations for Easter.
The ingredients of the Easter loaf are simple but at the same time rich in meaning and tradition: 2.2 lb leavened dough; 4.4 lb wheat flour; 1.5 lb sugar; 10 eggs; grated peel of 2 lemons; 2 sachets of vanilla; a handful of brewer's yeast; a pinch of salt; raisins; 5.3 oz lard. 
As with all good things it takes several hours of processing to make the perfect Easter Loaf, and over the years all the great bakers have adopted different techniques to achieve a final result worthy of the great tradition that accompanies this wonderful dessert, a dessert rich, in history, tradition, celebration and deep meanings that go beyond food.