What better way to celebrate Easter than a large egg made of Chocolate? But you may be wondering how this delicious tradition come to be? Read on…
The reason why eggs became a symbol associated with Easter celebrations is because the egg was viewed as a symbol of new life and fertility throughout the ages and used by many ancient cultures during their spring festivals. In Pagan times, the egg was believed to ward off evil, but it also represented life just as Spring does after a long winter.
In Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent. Instead, eggs laid during that time were boiled or preserved. Once Easter arrived, these eggs were enjoyed during the Easter meal and also were gifted to children and servants alike.
Pregnant Roman woman carried an egg with them to foretell the sex of their unborn children, while French brides stepped upon an egg before crossing the threshold of their new homes. Old Polish legends firmly attached the egg to the Easter celebrations.
Chocolate & Chocolate Eggs
In the 17th Century, artificial eggs were made using various materials and made excellent presents or gifts, so it was only a matter of time before chocolate was used to create an Easter Egg. The first chocolate eggs were solid, basic, gritty, and made from a paste using the Cacao Bean. Germany and France produced these solid chocolate eggs, and this recipe was quickly enjoyed by the rest of Europe with the eggs being hollowed out.
By the turn of the 19th century the discovery of the modern chocolate making process and improved mass manufacturing methods meant that the hollow moulded egg was the most popular gift for Easter, but it wasn’t until the 1960′s that this was established world wide, thanks to Cadbury. And still, it wasn’t until 1905 until the first milk chocolate egg appeared.
The Easter Bunny
The Rabbit or Hare was often used in Spring celebrations as a sign of fertility due to their frequent births. Sometimes the Easter Bunny was used to hide the eggs for the Easter hunt and cakes and biscuits were baked in bunny shapes. Of course today, you are very likely to find a chocolate shaped Bunny as well as chocolate eggs.