The cherry blossom is in full bloom, the daylight hours are getting longer and there have even been a couple of days this month when we’ve been able to leave the big coat at home. Coinciding with this shift in the seasons comes the next big date on both the foodie calendar – Easter. Always falling on the first Sunday after the first full moon post-spring equinox, Easter feast day is fast approaching. This year, Good Friday falls on April 2nd and for most people, the long Bank Holiday weekend is a chance to escape the pressures of work, with the emphasis on relaxing and dining together – something we can now tentatively plan towards, albeit outside!
So, that means it’s time for foods like hot cross buns, eggs, fish, Simnel cake and roast lamb to all start appearing on shopping lists. Many will observe the tradition of eating fish and hot cross buns on Good Friday, while the dish of the day reserved for Easter Sunday has always been lamb. Among the popular Easter symbols, the lamb is by far the most significant of this feast – and one that our Lakings butchery team love.
So, why do we eat lamb on Easter Sunday?
The tradition of eating lamb at Easter is thousands of years old, actually taking root in Judaism. The Paschal lamb was a sacrifice made during the Jewish Passover – a holiday celebrating when the ‘Angel of Death’ is said to have passed over those homes of the Israelites who had daubed sacrificial lamb’s blood on their doorposts, sparing the firstborn sons. The eating of lamb is also a reference to Jesus being the ‘Lamb of God’, not only embodying purity and goodness but also as a metaphor for the ultimate sacrifice he made with his life on Good Friday. So, for many, eating lamb at Easter is both heavily symbolic and traditional. For others, lamb is simply associated with spring, new beginnings, and seasonality. Our penchant for lamb at Easter has meant modern farming practices have evolved to ensure that not only lamb is at peak quality in time for the Easter table, but animal welfare is also paramount in its production.
Why choose Lakings lamb?
There is no denying the feel-good factor of creating a delicious meal from meat produced on your doorstep. At Lakings, we work almost exclusively with Lincolnshire farmers to supply our butchery counter – championing Lincolnshire produce through and through. And when it comes to lamb, we can not only guarantee that our lamb has grazed in Lincolnshire fields, but that it has a connection to the Lakings family farm too.
With a mix of Beltex, Badger Face Texel, Rouge and Blue Du Main pedigree sheep making up the Lakings flock, our sheep are free to roam outdoors, grazing on the lush vegetation that can be found in abundance on the family’s farm. Each of these quality breeds has been hand-picked to make sure lamb-lovers enjoy the best in flavour, succulence and eating quality.
While the Lakings family farm isn’t big enough to completely fulfil the lamb requirements of our butchery, two local farmers – Paul Tuplin and Martin Clough – work with us to meet customer demand. Situated in the Spilsby area, their traditional approach to farming ensures happy animals and delicious, resulting produce. Both farmers buy their tups (breeding rams) from Andrew’s family farm too, so the lineage and quality can be traced from flock to flock back to Lakings
We know that our customers want to know where their food has come from, so they can enjoy it with a clear conscience. Keeping our suppliers as close to home as possible allows us to approach farming with sound ethics and a true sense of responsibility. With the family farm, abattoir and award-winning butchery team at the ready, from farm to fork really is something we can proudly deliver.
What’s more, aside from its links to Easter, lamb is actually one of the healthiest meats you can serve at the dinner table. It is a naturally lean source of protein, low in sodium and provides a range of minerals that promote good health including zinc, selenium, taurine, CLA, phosphorus, iron and creatine.
Other Easter products at Lakings
No matter what you’re planning on serving up this Easter weekend, whether you visit in person or online, our shop, butchery and deli counter is the perfect place to pick up your essential Easter treats.
Eggs | Start your day with a free-range egg – poached on toast, boiled with ‘dippy soldiers’ or scrambled with a couple of slices of our cured bacon.
Hot cross buns | These sweet buns have really come back in fashion, with many different variations on the fruit-filled version to be found in the shops. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, we like to keep ours true to the traditional recipe, so you can be sure to find some fruity buns hand-made by our expert bakers.
Roast gammon | Eaten as an alternative to lamb, roast gammon is often served on Easter Sunday by our neighbours across the Pond. As with all things American, the trend is garnering some popularity here so for those who aren’t taken with lamb, a gorgeous roast gammon could be just the ticket this Easter.
Simnel Cake | Made in our on-site bakery, our delicious Simnel cake is a light fruit cake made with a layer of almond marzipan in the middle and on top. Perfect for afternoon tea, or just as a treat when you really can’t face eating any more chocolate, Simnel cake is traditionally decorated with 11 marzipan balls to represent the apostles, with Judas understandably left out.