The list of foods with religious symbolism provides details, and links to articles, of foods which are used in religious communities or traditions to symbolise an aspect of the faith, or to commemorate a festival or hero of that faith group. Many such foods are also closely associated with a particular date or season. As with all religious traditions, some such foods have passed into widespread secular use, but all those on this list have a religious origin. The list is arranged alphabetically and by religion.
Many religions have a particular 'cuisine' or tradition of cookery, associated with their culture (see, for example, List of Jewish cuisine dishes). This list is not intended for foods which are merely part of the cultural heritage of a religious body, but specifically those foods that bear religious symbolism in the way they are made, or the way they are eaten, or both.
Easter eggs are used as a Christian symbol to represent the empty tomb. The outside of the egg looks dead but inside there is new life, which is going to break out. The Easter egg is a reminder that Jesus will rise from His tomb and bring new life. Orthodox Christians dye boiled eggs red to make red Easter eggs that represent the blood of Christ shed for the sins of the world.
Just so, on that first Easter morning, Jesus came to life and walked out of the tomb, and left it, as it were, an empty shell. Just so, too, when the Christian dies, the body is left in the grave, an empty shell, but the soul takes wings and flies away to be with God. Thus you see that though an egg seems to be as dead as a stone, yet it really has life in it; and also it is like Christ's dead body, which was raised to life again. This is the reason we use eggs on Easter. (In days past some used to color the eggs red, so as to show the kind of death by which Christ died,-a bloody death.)
To mark the end of the Lent fast Christians eat hot cross buns. These have a special meaning. The cross in the middle shows how Jesus died. Spices inside remind Christians of the spices put on the body of Jesus. Sweet fruits in the bun show that Christians no longer have to eat plain foods.
Since people often gave up meat during Lent, bread became one of the staples of Lent. Bakers even began making dough pretzels--a knotted length of dough that represented a Christian praying, with arms crossed and hands placed on opposite shoulders.
The tradition continued in some areas of northern England as late as the 1930s, with children going from door to door “souling” for cakes or money by singing a song.