More than 80 million chocolate eggs are sold every year in the UK – mostly of course, around Easter.
But why is it now traditional to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ by eating chocolate eggs?
There are a couple of theories and, much like Christmas, it looks like various traditions (such as the Easter bunny, hot cross buns Simnel cake, Easter bonnets and watching a James Bond film on ITV) have been incorporated into the main event.
Lent used to be a time when Christians would abstain from eating all animal products and the eggs that were laid at this time but not eaten would be hard-boiled, decorated and saved for Easter.
The eggs are thought to be hollow to represent Jesus’ empty tomb and of course, like the Easter bunny himself, is also an obvious symbol of fertility. Fortunately, at some point in the 19th century, someone in northern Europe came up with the idea of making the eggs out of chocolate.
This popular idea naturally caught on quickly with Cadbury’s making their first eggs in 1842 although their first ones where a far cry from their ubiquitous Crème eggs. They had to be painstakingly pasted into the moulds one at a time.
All of the first Easter eggs were made by hand and it wasn’t until the 1960s that the processes were refined to give the smooth and even flavours we enjoy today, although artisanal eggs seem to be enjoying a renaissance.
Our favourite Easter eggs
Here are some more unusual Easter eggs available this year:
Locally handmade Easter Eggs from Tilly’s Treats Handcrafted Chocolates Large or small, they look AND taste amazing! Each size is in 3 flavours, Scrummy Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate Orange or Scrumptious Strawberry.
The yummy small eggs are filled to bursting with gooey salted caramel or flavoured truffle – and the divine large eggs with deliciously hand poured thick shells of your chosen flavoured chocolate have three flavoured truffles hidden inside.
Prestat Gin Truffle Egg Capturing the zeitgeist of today’s shopper, this Milk Chocolate Egg by Prestat has a lemon milk chocolate shell and is filled with their finest London Gin Truffles.
Also available at Cobbs Farm Shop
Buttermilk Another cocktail inspired offering, this is Buttermilk’s Strawberry Bellini Easter Egg – a fruity, fizzy treat with freeze-dried strawberry pieces and a little popping surprise. Inside, you’ll find Buttermilk’s new Strawberry Bellini Fudge – the perfect buttery, crumbly accompaniment to strawberries and a glass of Prosecco.
Available online and at Waitrose stores
Chocolarder is one of a handful of bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the country, and their egg is small but perfectly formed.
Made of foraged sea buckthorn from the Cornish coast, combined with honey and enrobed in premium chocolate, it’s packaged without using any plastic whatsoever.
Waitrose chocolate Avocado egg We may have hit peak hipster with the launch of this Belgian dark chocolate avocado shaped egg.
This is exclusive to Waitrose and apparently contains absolutely no avocado at all as the shell and stone are made of Belgian chocolate (made with 70% cocoa), with a white chocolate middle.
Easter Arts & Crafts
Of course, you may not want to indulge in chocolate and would rather sit down to do some Easter crafts with the children. You could hand-paint some hardboiled eggs (or be brave and try to ‘blow’ some raw eggs), create an Easter egg ‘tree’ or decorate an Easter bonnet.
Or take inspiration from these creative cartoon drawing and painting workshops with Simon Jardine at Armadillo Images in Kingsclere, Hungerford, Compton, Thatcham and Cold Ash priced at £4 per child (recommended for children aged five and over).
Another low calorie option is to enter the Easter Egg Hunt on Newbury Building Society’s website!
Unearth all 5 colourful eggs and complete an entry form to be in for the chance to win a 12 month Merlin attraction family pass suitable for four people.
Click here for more activities in the local area this Easter holiday!
However you’re celebrating, and whatever you’re doing, have a very Happy Easter!