BUFFALO, NEW YORK
The Broadway Market normally sells out of its butter lambs one or two days before Easter, and this year was no different. The butter lamb is a tradition of Eastern European Catholics, rich in religious symbolism. In Poland, dairy was often given up for Lent, making butter a sight for sore eyes worth dressing up. Back in 1960, Dorothy Malczewski launched Malczewski Butter Lambs at the local grocery store, which still sells them. The lambs come in five different sizes, from something that can fit in a butter dish to something the size of a full-grown cat. They all have the symbolic flag and ribbon and peppercorn eyes. Some are simply molded; more ornate ones feature scalloping and other textures. They are all handmade. Malczewski starts months before Easter with about 20 tons of butter from which she will make about 100,000 butter lambs. The basic lambs retail in several grocery stores in the Northeast, but one must go to the Broadway Market to get a specialty piece.