Not only is this dish an obvious tie-in to Passion Sunday, but since heart of palm was once one of the most expensive ingredients on the market because of the difficulty of procuring it, it also evokes the kingship of Our Lord.
The most perplexing name for the feast is “Green Thursday,” in the German, Slavic, and Hungarian languages. Is it a corruption of the German grünen, meaning to mourn, or is it indeed from grün, the German word for green? Is it derived from the custom of eating bitter greens like dandelions in imitation of the bitter herbs of the Jewish Passover? Or did the odd name cause the culinary custom?
In the second century the Church is said to have kept a forty-hour fast that began at the hour when Christ died on the cross (3:00 p.m. Friday) and ended on the hour that He rose from the dead (7:00 a.m. Sunday). But despite its link to fasting, Good Friday is also associated with several foods.
Neapolitan casatiello is offered to family and friends only from noon on Holy Saturday until lunch on Easter Monday. In the old days (pre-1950s), the Easter Vigil service was held in the morning of Holy Saturday and ended around noon, and when that service ended so did the Lenten fast.Tuscan scarpaccia does not have as close a tie to Easter as casatiello, but it was developed as a spring specialty by sailors making good use of their gardens.