Chocolate at Easter: A history
“Easter is a time for full bellies, days off work and spending quality time with family and friends, but what can this festival of fun and food’s history tell us about today’s traditions, and how did this hedonistic celebration come to pass?”
Of course when many of us think of Easter our taste buds are immediately whisked away to their childhood, when indulgent Easter chocolate
was given to us by all and sundry and we spent half an hour eating it all and the rest of the day with stomachache. But where did the tradition of giving Easter eggs come from and how did it evolve into some of today’s popular incarnations (the famous gold bunny springs to mind!).
The egg has always been a symbol of rebirth and Easter is obviously the time when Mother Nature comes to life with spring flowers sprouting, lambs a leaping and the early signs of sunshine streaming through your window. Eggs have been painted in bright colours to celebrate this period for hundreds of years and the Easter egg
is the natural progression of this.
One of the first Easter eggs given in recorded history was the Fabergé egg given to the Empress Marie of Russia by her husband in 1883 (needless to say it was a little more expensive than the chocolate
Although the lavishly decorated and extremely expensive eggs of the 18th and 19th centuries were very popular among the rich, those with less money would hide small gifts in papier-mâché or pasteboard eggs - a tradition still followed today with our Easter chocolate
Although the first chocolate Easter egg was made in the early 19th century in Europe, the real breakthrough for this colourful confectionary came when John Cadbury made the first Cadbury Easter eggs in 1875.
Today’s Easter egg however owes its inception to two mammoth developments in chocolate history - Dutch inventor Van Houten producing a press for cocoa butter from the cocoa bean in 1828 and pure cocoa being introduced by Cadbury Brothers in 1866.
Nowadays, Easter chocolate comes in all shapes and sizes - classic Easter eggs
, a gold bunny, even squares and cylindrical shapes! But whether they’re big or small, a bargain or pricey, they all have one thing in common: they’re all delicious and make Easter a time to savour both with family, friends and the inevitable expanding waistline!
Author - Lynsey Calver
Tags - Lindt, easter, chocolate, easter chocolates, easter eggs, easter egg
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