Sunday, March 16, 2008

Czech your head 1

How well do you understand the Eastern European psyche?

czech mystery pastry fig. a: Czech mystery pastry

Q: The pastry you see above is a traditional Czech Easter pastry. What does the pastry's shape represent and what is the symbolism behind this shape?

Send us a comment with your name and your answer via the 'comments' application or, if you prefer, via email. The first correct answer will receive an AEB Spring Prize Pack worth at least $5 (and maybe even more!), and we'll send it to you anywhere in the world.


ps--If we've discussed this pastry with you over the last few days, you're ineligible. Sorry.


mare said...

It's a strand of rope and the symbolism is to break free of the oppressor.

[Just a guess, I have no other Czech ties than three visits to Prague and a shortlived fling with a Czech animator.]

Anonymous said...

I'm going to guess it's a serpent and it has something to do with the sins of man.

bobby b

Fred Wilson said...

Juda's cake - it looks like a rope, ie like the one Juda used to hang himself.

JoyBugaloo said...

I think it has to do with whipping or flogging....perhaps self-flagellation (in that extreme ascetic way). Or does it have to do with that odd fertility rite called pomlazka? (I not sure how you'd spank someone with a donut, but it might be fun trying!)


lauren said...

I agree with Fred Wilson. That's a jidase, right? My grandmother, despite being one of the most stereotypically dour Slavs ever, preferred to bake the more picturesque Easter lamb.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anthony. Can't believe I got sucked into this, but here's a half-answer that I Googled: Bread is a significant part of this Christian holiday — the rising dough signifies the risen Christ, and the loaves are often shaped into fishes, crosses, braided wreaths and pretzel bends that symbolize Christ or his followers. In the British Isles, the dough is formed into hot cross buns, with the shape said to represent the stone in front of Jesus' tomb, and an X marked on top, a medieval symbol of Crusaders.In some countries, a whole egg, still in its shell, is baked into the loaf — another symbol of rebirth, the principal tenet of Christianity.

Rachel said...

This bread is made in an hours long process. It is sometimes also served at Christmas, called vanocka. The Easter version is called manzanec. Both are a Czech version of hot cross buns. It is associated with feasting, because Easter is the feast of Christ's resurrection. It is more symbolic of a whip, because Christ was whipped at a pillar on His way to being crucified.

Anonymous said...

More to the point, where do I get one of those things?! said...

My grandmother used to make that bread. Or something very much like it. I had raisins inside and slivered almonds. My dad calls it Vanocka (christmas bread) but she made it at christmas and easter. We've also seen it as "Hoska"