'Easter is, Christ rises. He was dead, now alive again. Together with him, hope is reborn, and with her good humor. And with good humor can come back and appetite. Because let's face it: Easter Sunday you eat well and abundantly. The date of Easter changes every year, but the table is always the same.At Easter we eat according to tradition, and tradition feeds on symbols. Take a traditional Easter dishes in southern Italy: casatiello. Let us take but little, because it is a heaviness proverbial: "The 'casatiello that!" They say in Naples, talking about someone pedantic, verbose and tedious.In the taxonomy culinary casatiello belongs to the family of savory Easter cakes. As the tortano. (The cake Easter cake is certainly the most famous pastiera).The term derives from casatiello "case", which means cheese in Neapolitan dialect, and refers to the conspicuous presence within it of pecorino cheese. Tortano could come from cake-no in the sense that it is not a cake, but it is much more. But this source is not convincing.Tortano casatiello and have the same mix: flour, yeast, water, salt, pepper, pork fat (lard in Italian), boiled eggs, salami, cheese and Ciccoli (cracklings), pork.The variants are numerous regional, local, and family. There are those who, instead of (or alongside) the dough takes salami diced mortadella, or ham. As for cheese, Pecorino Romano is the key, in generous doses. It is often added a small amount of Parmesan cheese, and some went so far as to semipiccante provolone, and / or all'emmental.For a dish so close to Easter, the Christian tradition and therefore, does something to realize that the ingredients meet a pagan symbolism, much earlier to Christ: starting with the already mentioned cheese. The cheese is made with sheep's milk. It feeds on the small of the sheep: lamb. However, in pagan spring connected to the resurrection of nature after the "death" of winter lambs were sacrificed. With a capital, the Lamb is the symbol of innocence: the creature pure and innocent. Thus the Jews offered it in sacrifice during Passover. And who - in the Christian view - is the most innocent of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world?Throughout the West, the paschal lamb that wins and holds the flag of victory over death is the resurrection, as to be used as an amulet after being molded wax blessed.It 'is therefore clear why the cheese, the cheese that you would put into casatiello and tortano? Unless there put it, it changes the entire meaning of casatiello (and also the flavor, which leaves every speech with pecorino is another matter ...) Another ingredient, another story: greaves, or pork scratching, as they say in Naples . Greaves are the remnants of processing (fusion) of the fat of pork lard, "'to nzogna" of Naples.Greaves appear as irregular pieces of meat, hazel, very rich in fat, and tasty. Also refer to an ancient rite, before the Christian era: the sacrificial killing of the pig, symbol of fertility and prosperity. It actually took him in the welfare homes, the pig, with all the good things that put on the tables of farmers. Gratitude is one of the most popular human feelings, and the pig knows: he feeds man, and man defames him. They did so also the Christians, for whom the pig was a symbol of greed and ignorance, but curiously, in earlier times, the pig was connected to the revival. In ancient Egypt the sow that eats its young in fact represented Nut, the goddess of the sky, whose children (the stars) die to be reborn in the morning in the evening.The tortano casatiello and you do it with the flour. As the bread: Food for excellence, that remains so when, as well as into the mouth, leaving to become the language: "expression" earn their bread ", it symbolizes all forms of livelihood and food. Before becoming the symbol of the King of Kings, that of Christ in the consecrated, the bread was - and is - the king of foods.Then there are the eggs. The egg is the symbol of the primordial seed from which later created the world. Like all enclosed in a shell, indicating the Creation already foreshadowed from the beginning.Christians likened Jesus, who rose from the grave, the chick coming out of his shell. And when Jesus resurrected? At Easter! This explains the meaning of Easter egg, present in many cultures.Hence, in Easter eggs like rain (but better not, especially at Easter, there's the outing). There are the decorated eggs, chocolate eggs, and eggs thrown into the cakes and pies: Naples, in pastiera and dove, but also-and here the circle closes in-casatiello and tortano.In addition to the substance (rather substantial, apparently), and tortano casatiello have in common form. A donut, the center empty.This form has a specific meaning (because it is now clear: in these foods of the holidays has left nothing to chance, let alone to casatiello): the cake in the shape of the crown of thorns of Jesus Christ. And 'so that eating it, you remember, without their awareness, but on a deeper level, the ordeal of the Savior and soothes (his and ours) suffering "destroying", with eating, one of its causes: the awful crown of thorns, of course.But although the same for content (the dough is substantially the same), and to form (donut-shaped), and tortano casatiello are not synonymous.No. Casatiello has something more than tortano. In addition to having hard-boiled eggs into the mixture, has them as well off: Four or more, complete with shell, set in the donut. But not completely sunk in it, so that their upper part remains visible.The tortano (in which the boiled eggs, cut into wedges, are found only in the mixture) is actually older than the casatiello. What is an evolution.One day it happened to be one of those bakers who made the tortani, to make them more palatable, he tried to get stuck inside of raw eggs, and whole. Once removed from oven supertortano of this species (perhaps once was not enough, and it took several attempts), he realized that the eggs under the shell, had become firm. It had taken a very particular taste, because of the mix in which they were immersed.Thus was born the casatiello, which met once a lot of luck. Because it satisfies the palate and the eye. And yet the religious sensitivity: above of each egg donut were inserted in two strips of pasta in fact arranged perpendicular to each other. A purely ornamental purposes? Of course not: the two orthogonal strips of dough are nothing but the representation of the Cross.Leaving aside the symbols, the casatiello is truly beautiful to behold: a tall golden donut, from whose amber sides emerge at times pork scratching, and on whose surface peep boiled eggs still tight in the armor of the shell.The operation of shelling eggs embedded is critical: it must carefully separate the fragments of the shell from the suffocating embrace of pasta, cooked it adheres firmly.Born as a tasty variation of tortano casatiello has a little 'time lost ground: for speed and convenience, the housewives have preferred to confine the preparation of tortano, which alone is not a joke.But time is always honest, even when there is not. It 'was precisely the lack thereof to bring back into favor casatiello. It 'happened in homes today because now there is no time even to make the tortano. At this point, who wants to go and must buy. So why not take the casatiello, with those lovely eggs between the hard and roasted, they do so Easter?The bakers have warned more easily understood, and agreed not to put more on the side of tortano. So I passed by the casatiello fact that today it sells like hotcakes again. After tasting it, how do you not agree with him?