BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – When many Western New Yorkers think about Easter, they think about the butter lamb.
But do you know the history behind Buffalo’s traditional butter sculpture?
Mark Goodwin of Buffalo Eats recently joined us to talk about the history of the butter lamb, which he said dates back to the 1200s.
The Buffalo connection is rooted in Dorothy Malczewski, also known as “Ma,” who popularized the butter lamb at the Broadway Market in the 1960s.
“The Malczewski Butter Lamb, or Baranek wielkanocny in Polish, is a traditional Easter symbol,” Malczewski’s Butter Lambs writes on their website. “The Butter Lamb symbolizes the sacrifice of the Lamb of God in the Eucharist. The Malczewski Butter Lamb comes in many shapes and sizes, with a red ‘alleluia’ flag signifying peace on Earth, and a red ribbon representing the Blood of Christ.”
Malczewski’s told us in 2018 that they make and sell about 100,000 butter lambs a year.
Ma Malczewski retired in 2007. The headline of her 2013 obituary exalted her “for butter lamb sales in Buffalo.”
In addition to the Broadway Market, butter lambs can now be found in nearly all local supermarkets.
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.
Jordan Norkus is an anchor who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.