Any baker will tell you that Christmas is the biggest holiday, but Easter runs a close second. Food is the center of the holiday, and this Easter Sunday homes around Revere will be bringing more of an Italian heritage to the table.
Diners can expect classics from Luberto’s on Broadway and Torretta’s Bakery in Beachmont – items like Easter bread, ricotta pie and pizzagaina (pizza chiena) and a lot more.
Ralph Torretta said chiena means “full” in Italian. “It’s full of gourmet meats, like a quiche, all the imported meats from Italy. Prosciutto, capicola, swiss cheese, provolone, ricotta – it’s a very rich pie, but it’s mostly meats mixed with the ricotta.”
In fact, to many of Italian heritage, Easter is far more significant than Christmas, as it marks the resurrection of Christ and the miracle of resurrection at the core of the Christian faith.
With the egg at the center of Easter celebrations children also look forward to chocolate eggs.
The eggs are hollow and fragile and come in sizes four ounces to 80 ounces or even five pounds! Dan Luberto has hundreds of chocolate eggs beautifully packaged for sale at his bakery on Broadway.
Luberto said eggs at Easter time are an old tradition. The ancient Romans used to bury an egg painted red in hopes of getting a better crop. Eggs symbolize new life, and rebirth after a long cold winter.
“I always looked forward to the Italian eggs,” said Ralph Torretta, owner of Torretta’s Bakery, as he showed off giant milk chocolate Easter egg imported from Italy beautifully wrapped in colorful paper – inside the enormous egg is a small prize or toy. “My mother used to go to the North End and get them.”
Mattea Torretta, his mother, hasn’t given him an egg in awhile because she has been too busy working on pies.
“It’s our number one seller – we make about 200, eight-inch pies for Easter,” Torretta said. “We do a little at a time and we bake them all the day before.”
At Luberto’s they’ll put out about 1,200 ricotta pies for Easter week. Luberto has been baking since he started working in his parent’s Italian bakery in Argentina.
“Fifty percent of the residents there are Italian,” Luberto said. “My traditions are just following what my mother, father and grandmother did.”
The after-dinner menu is not to be overlooked. Desserts and espresso are called for with ricotta pie, pastries and cakes.
Luberto’s Easter bread is traditional – a sweet dough made into a brioshe with colorful hard-boiled eggs on top. At Luberto’s they make the bread in different sizes according to how many eggs are used. A nice icing is also placed on top.
“You eat the egg first and have the bread as dessert,” Luberto said.
Luberto’s has been in business now for more than 35 years.
Torretta’s has been opened for 28 years this Easter, the business was started by his father with Salvatore’s famous slush business. “One of my dad’s favorite thing to do at Easter was making the pies, and zeppoli’s, a sort of an éclair, made into a circle and fried filled with pastry cream and some cherry filling, a lot of people also look for zeppoli’s for Easter,” Torretta said.
Another popular item is Struffoli, little éclair balls baked in the oven then glaze with honey.
“My most favorite part of Easter is the end of the holiday, having a meal with the family,” Torretta said.