What is a Butter Lamb?

Misty Amber Brighton

Butter lamb refers to butter that is molded into the shape of a lamb. It is normally served along with the Easter meal by those of the Catholic faith in Poland. It may be common in other countries as well because it is intended to signify Christ and His death and resurrection. The accompaniment can contain other things such as small peppercorns for the eyes. It may be sold at Polish delicatessens or food markets during the Lent season, a forty-day preparation for Easter.

Butter lamb is intended to signify Christ, His death, and resurrection.
Butter lamb is intended to signify Christ, His death, and resurrection.

Butter lamb can add a special touch to any Easter meal, regardless of a person's religious denomination. It can also be a fun dish to prepare for both adults and children. The dish can be made from sticks of butter although it can also be made from margarine. The portions are cut and shaped into various parts of the lamb's body. A person might then use toothpicks in order to carve curls that can represent the animal's wool.

Other times, butter lamb might be made from a mold. When made in this way, softened butter is pressed into the mold and placed in a refrigerator for a few hours in order to harden somewhat. It can then be taken out of the icebox just before the Easter meal in order to allow it to soften slightly so it can easily be spread on bread or rolls.

Butter lamb is thought to have originated in Poland, where it is still a popular Easter condiment for Catholics. Even so, members of Protestant sects may also enjoy making and eating this. It is also served in many other European countries as well as the United States.

In addition to butter or margarine, a butter lamb might also contain peppercorn or cloves for the eyes. A person could also use cinnamon for the animal's nose or nostrils. It is often garnished with parsley or pansy flowers. It might also contain a toothpick holding a small banner containing a cross, representing Jesus.

Serving a butter lamb is a popular holiday tradition not only in Poland, but in many parts of the world as well. During the Lent season, many Polish markets sell butter lamb or molds for making it. It can sometimes be found in supermarkets in the United States as well. A number of delicatessens that specialize in Polish cuisine throughout the world might also carry this product.

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