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Paskalya coregi.jpg
Paskalya çöreği (Easter çörek) and coloured eggs from Istanbul
Type Sweet bread
Variations Savoury versions
Cookbook: Tsoureki  Media: Tsoureki

Tsoureki (Greek: τσουρέκι), also known as شوريك (Arabic), panarët (Arbërisht), choreg or "chorek" (Armenian չորեկ), çörək (Azerbaijani), kozunak (Bulgarian козунак), cozonac (Romanian) or çörek (Turkish)), is a sweet, egg-enriched bread, rooted in the cuisines of Western and Central Asia.[1] It is formed of braided strands of dough. There are also savoury versions.

Such rich brioche-like breads are also traditional in many other countries, such as Hungary and the Czech Republic. Examples of similar breads from other cultures are badnji kruh in Croatian cuisine, folar de páscoa in Portuguese cuisine, Brioche in French, kulich in Russian cuisine, panettone in Italian cuisine and challah in Jewish cuisine.

Greek traditions[edit]

Rich brioche-like breads (often braided) are known by various Greek names that represent three major holidays for Greeks: Easter, Christmas and New Year's. There are many local varieties of these festive breads, based on milk, flour, eggs, sugar, yeast, butter, and a flavoring which can be mahleb, Chian mastic or cardamom. The butter is added after kneading: the dough is stretched, brushed with melted butter, folded and stretched again repeatedly, until all the butter is incorporated. The result of this technique is that the baked bread separates easily into strands. A good tsoureki should be soft, moist and fluffy, yet stringy and chewy.

Tsoureki may be eaten at any time of year, often for breakfast, but it is also associated with several holidays.

Tsoureki / Lampropsomo / Lamprokouloura: Easter Bread[edit]

The Greek word lampropsomo (λαμπρόψωμο) is derived from one Greek word for Easter, Λαμπρή, which means "bright light," and ψωμί, which means bread; referring to the light Christians believe is given to them by Christ's resurrection. Another name for the bread is lamprokouloura (Λαμπροκουλούρα): κουλούρα means "round" and, therefore, various forms of cookies and round breads. This braided bread can be shaped either into a circle or into two large braids and sprinkled with nuts, usually slivered, blanched almonds. It is served with red Easter eggs that have been dyed to represent the blood of Christ or red rosebuds.[2]

This bread was traditionally prepared with an essence drawn from the seeds of Mediterranean wild cherries, called makhlepi, (Greek: μαχλέπι). The bread can also be flavoured with mastic, the resin from Pistacia lentiscus, var. chia. In more recent years, vanilla-scented tsoureki has also become popular. If going for the full aromatic effect, a fourfold melange of aromatics is used: makhlepi, Chios mastic, cardamom, and vanilla.

Sometime tsoureki is used as a gift for special occasion, for instance, it can be given as an Easter gift from children to their godparents.

Christopsomo: Christmas Bread[edit]

Christopsomo (Χριστόψωμο), which translates as "Christ's bread", is a Greek bread decorated with an early form of the Christian cross with ends that split and curl into circles. Sometimes dough shapes representing initials, birth dates, ages and aspects of the family's life and profession are added.[3] Christopsomo is a rich, round loaf scented with wine soaked figs, anise and orange. It sometimes contains such ingredients as nuts, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and mastic, a dried pine resin. The bread is sometimes served with honey on Christmas Eve. Families leave pieces of bread on the table believing that Christ will come and eat them during the night.

The preparation of Christopsomo is considered a sacred tradition in Greek Orthodox homes,[4] and the care with which it is made is said to ensure the well-being of the home in the year to come. In earlier times, Greek cooks baked large quantities of bread to last for ten to fifteen days, so baking just one or two loaves of Christopsomo the night before Christmas had special significance. The cook would begin by crossing him/herself before starting baking.

Tsourekaki: Easter Cookie[edit]

Tsourekaki (Τσουρεκάκι): A variant which consists of biscuits in the shape of the original tsoureki. It is common to add orange flavour.

Vasilopita: New Year's Bread[edit]

Main article: Vasilopita

The traditional New Year's Cake, Vasilopita (Βασιλόπιτα) is sometimes a tsoureki.

Armenian traditions[edit]

In Armenian tradition, a big batch of chureg ("chorek" in Eastern Armenian) is baked for Easter, with one of the choregs containing a coin for good luck to whomever gets it.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Толковìй словарь живаго великорусскаго язîка, Dal' V.I., IAS, 1869
  2. ^ See details at Spice Roots website.
  3. ^ Referenced at the About Food website.
  4. ^ See entry at The Greek Glutton.
  5. ^ 10 Reasons Foodies Love Armenia

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsoureki — Please support Wikipedia.
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1203 news items

Press of Atlantic City

Press of Atlantic City
Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:00:44 -0700

Tom Papademetriou and Dorrie Papademetriou of Linwood members of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Egg Harbor Township celebrate Easter almost a month after other Christians Thursday, April 28, 2016. They have some of the same traditions, ...

The Pappas Post

The Pappas Post
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 09:30:00 -0700

... their eggs red at Easter and explained the tradition of cracking, which one by one each of the students participated in. Of course, no Easter explanation would be complete without traditional Greek koulourakia and tsoureki, which she shared with ...

In-Cyprus (press release) (subscription) (blog)

In-Cyprus (press release) (subscription) (blog)
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 02:56:15 -0700

A small increase in price has been noticed in poultry, but baked goods, like traditional 'tsoureki' and 'flaounes' have shown a marked and varied price increase. The price for 'flaounes', for example, vary between €7, 29 to €12,00 a kilo. The Chairman ...
Wed, 23 Mar 2016 23:56:15 -0700

1. Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add ½ cup flour and 1 tablespoon sugar and set aside until mixture is foamy. 2. Warm up butter until melted, then add the remaining sugar, zest, mahlepi. Whisk; remove from heat. Let cool. 3. In large bowl, add yeast ...


Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:18:45 -0700

Once inside, you can enjoy a traditional four-course meal, including magiritsa, a traditional Easter soup, tsoureki bread, and seafood yiouvetsi. They also promise “easter eggs,” though they may not be the chocolate kind. I'm going to gamble that lamb ...

Naples Daily News

Naples Daily News
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 02:00:00 -0700

Tsoureki: This elaborate Easter bread is a spectacular part of the Easter feast, and each Greek cook has her own traditional recipe handed down from generation to generation. Youvetsi: A hearty beef stew with tasty orzo and rich tomato sauce is a ...

East Anglian Daily Times

East Anglian Daily Times
Thu, 24 Mar 2016 12:01:35 -0700

If you don't like hot cross buns or Simnel cake, and are trying to avoid chocolate, it's the perfect centrepiece finish to Easter lunch – especially if you serve it with local jam and honey! Ingredients. 1 packet dried yeast, 50g caster sugar, 140ml ...
The State Journal-Register
Fri, 22 Apr 2016 19:48:45 -0700

Afterward, Easter baskets full of foods not part of the Lenten diet, along with Easter eggs dyed red symbolizing the blood of Christ and a traditional bread called tsoureki, are blessed. Greeks also have a tradition of hitting Easter eggs together to ...

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