The Easter Chocolate Eggstravaganza
Published: 24 Mar 2016
The moment when stores begin selling Easter Eggs has arrived earlier and earlier as the years pass. Presumably we will eventually hit a critical mass when long-life eggs are sold as soon as September or October in anticipation of Easter Sunday—a haunting prospect indeed. Consumers will never know what season they're in. Until that confusing nadir however we should all enjoy a good egg or two this coming Easter, and there's certainly plenty to choose from.
There are two converging ideas in play to consider when understanding the significance of Easter eggs. The first is the tradition of 'Lent', the Christian practice of foregoing luxuries for several weeks in the build up to Easter Sunday. Back in the olden days this included eggs, which were generally used up before Lent began. So an egg at the end of Lent was the first egg in a long time. The second factor is that eggs, in particular hollow eggs, are supposed to represent the tomb of Christ after his crucifixion. Although an egg might seem like stone (like the tomb), it gives birth to new life.
Regardless of how the tradition began, chocolate eggs are now a multi-million pound business, found in every corner of the UK as we approach Easter. Supermarket own-brands compete with the usual big players like Cadbury's and Nestle for supremacy. Luxury choices also exist, the likes of Thornton's owning hefty market share. The chocolatier has carved itself a market niche that caters to people wanting to make an easter egg a more significant gift. Eggs can personalised to order, making it almost a shame to have to eat it at the end! Considering the glut of cheap easter eggs on the market it is wholly refreshing to acquire something a little more special and thoughtful on what is still a religious holiday for many people.
Although it might have strayed a little from its humble origins, the use of chocolate as our easter eggs has a great many benefits—not least to our health, both mental and physical. According to the latest study (printed in the Guardian), chocolate can make you “smarter, thinner and healthier”. In part this is due to the endorphins eating chocolate releases in your brain. The principle of happier people being healthier people is generally accepted as fact nowadays, so chocolate enjoyed in moderation can extend lifespan in this fashion.
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