Paskalya coregi

Armenian chorek and coloured Easter eggs in Istanbul.

Tsoureki (Greek τσουρέκι), çörek (Turkish), panarët (Arbërisht), choreg (Armenian չորեկ), or çörək(Azerbaijani). are a sweet bread in Greek, Cypriot, Bulgarian cuisine, Arbëresh cuisine, Turkish, and Armenian cuisine. It is formed of braided strands of dough.Çörək is also the Azerbaijani name for bread. The ethymology of the word directs us to the Turkish word çevre-k (çevirmek) for to round, rounded et cetera[1].

Such rich brioche-like breads are also traditional in many other countries, such as kulich in Russian cuisine and challah in Jewish cuisine.

Greek traditions

Rich brioche-like breads (often braided) are known by various different Greek names that represent three major holidays for Greeks: Easter, Christmas and New Year's.

Tsoureki / Lambropsomo/ Lambrokoulouras: Easter Bread

The Greek word Lambropsomo is a combination of two words: lambro (Greek: λαμπρό) which means "bright light"; and psomo (Greek: -ψωμο from ψωμί) which means bread: lambropsomo translates as shining-bread or the epiphany-bread, representing the light given to Christians by Christ's resurrection. Another name for this is "Λαμπροκουλούρας" Lamprokoulouras, which has the same meaning. This braided bread can be shaped either into a circle or into two large braids and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It is adorned with red Easter eggs for decoration. The Easter eggs are dyed deep red to represent the blood of Christ, the eggs also represent new life and springtime. Sometimes red rosebuds are added for decoration.

This bread recipe 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 quite popular. Sometime tsoureki is used as gifts for special occasions, for instance, it can be given as an Easter gift from children to their godparents.

Christopsomo: Christmas Bread

Christopomo (Greek: Χριστόψωμο) is a Greek bread decorated with an early form of the Christian cross with ends that split and curl into circles. Sometimes initials, birth dates and ages are added to celebrate all occasions. It is a rich, round loaf scented with wine soaked figs, anise, orange and it sometimes contains mastiihi, 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.

During the forty days of fasting, special loaves of Christopsomo, which translates to Christ's Bread, are prepared for the meals. The loaves are round and decorated with a cross, which people make symbols shaped in dough. It is considered a sacred tradition in Greek Orthodox homes, and the care with which it is made is said to ensure the well-being of the home in the year to come. Only the purest and most expensive ingredients are used. The bread is often decorated with pieces of dough formed into representations of the family's life. Traditionally on Christmas Eve every household would bake a Christopsomo and then decorated with engravings on the crust that represent aspects of the family's life and profession.

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 start by crossing him/herself before starting the preparations, making this Christmas bread, which still is considered by many to be a sacred task, and great care is taken in its preparation. Raisins, nuts, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are just a few of the taste treats that some recipes use for this traditional loaf.

Vasilopita: New Year's Bread

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


  1. An Ethymological Dictionary of Turkish Language, Sevan Nişanyan,

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Tsoureki. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.