The days are getting longer, and though it may not look like it outside Spring is technically here. The temperatures have warmed up and the snow outside will only be here for only be here for a short while. For many of us, spring is a time of renewal and around this time the celebration of Easter and preparing Easter meals is front and centre.

For more than 30 years Tall Grass Bakery in Wolseley and at the Forks Market has been feeding Winnipeggers with the best in locally sourced baking. Whether you want a cookie, a meat pie, or perhaps one of Tall Grass’ legendary cinnamon buns; Tall Grass has been what many consider to be the best in local Bakeries.

For Co-Owner of Tall Grass Bakery Tabitha Langel, the spring season and the marking of Lent and Easter has many facets. There is rebirth, rejuvenation, and the days get longer. “When the equinox happens and day and night are equally long…that’ a big deal…all of Easter and Lent is based around that movement...in fact Lent, the term comes from lengthening of days,” states Langel. “

Spring is also the means new life “the farmers are beginning to plant, and are bringing the last of last year’s crop in, they are ordering their chicks...it is just amazing!”

Fasting is done by many in the spring, for Christians it is done during Lent, but as Langel points out “I take comfort from the fact that every major world religion has a spring fast or cleansing, for example our Muslim friends are in the middle of Ramadan. Fasting is about remembering the poor, your own spirituality, and where you are being led by the light, and acts of kindness.”

All of the breads that Tall Grass bakery sells for Lent and Easter come from traditions where people fasted and had been vegan from five to seven weeks. Hundreds of years ago eggs and butter had value, and where only used in vast quantities when Lent was over and Easter arrived. One of the things that resulted was the making of very rich and tasty breads for the Easter season.

One of the baked goods that are often associated with Easter is the hot cross bun. Tall Grass has been baking hot cross buns since the beginning of lent. Interestingly this baked good goes back to the Romans. “The Romans made these round fruit and raisin filled buns to lure the spring sun back,” states Tabitha. “When Christianity came in, the monks insisted on baking these buns in the early monasteries and they just put a cross on them.”

Tall Grass also has Christopsomo bread, which comes from the Greek orthodox tradition. The bread typically comes with an orthodox cross on top, but because of the intricacies of the cross, the bakery has adapted the cross, so that the top almost looks like a butterfly. “Customers keep saying ‘oh we’re so glad the butterfly is on the top.’ I kind of smile and say the butterfly is a great example of the resurrection,” says Langel.

Tall Grass also has Easter Saffron bread which comes from the east. In the Middle Ages saffron was worth more than gold Saffron. The bakery makes very high quality saffron bread that is beautifully braided.

 The other main bread for Easter that Tall grass is making available is the paska bread. “The paska is squarely Ukrainian…it’s an Eastern Bread…lemony flavored…light and fluffy…and it’s shape is up. In Ukraine there was great pride in seeing who could make the tallest ones.”

All of these wonderful foods are available from Tall Grass Bakery, and what better way to celebrate the light and the Easter season with wonderful tasty bread from Tall Grass bakery.