Italians take everything chocolate very seriously – and Easter eggs are no exception. Long before Christianity adopted the egg as a part of Easter traditions, ancient Romans had already established it as the symbol of new birth. They were huge believers of “omne vivum ex ovo” – that all life comes from the egg. In order to celebrate the new birth after winter, they would decorate eggs with various vegetable dyes (made from onion skins, beets and carrots) then gift them to each other during spring festivals.
The tradition of Easter eggs continued to be an important part of the Italian culture, with increasing popularity over time. Due to the fact that neither meat nor dairy products can be eaten during Lent, as a way to minimize food waste the habit of hard boiling the eggs and painting them was adopted. Even though the original tradition was to color the hard boiled eggs in red – which symbolized the blood of Christ and His resurrection – today Italian Easter Eggs are large chocolate eggs decorated with colorful food dyes and fancy decorative items.
During the Easter season, almost every shop in Italy decorates their store fronts with colorful chocolate eggs and just about every candy brand launches their Easter chocolate eggs in various sizes, colors and prices. If you are lucky enough to be in Italy during Easter time, definitely stop by the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Via Milano 9 to see their annual Art of Easter Eggs Exhibition full of specially crafted pieces inspired by the Italian Easter Eggs.
But there is no need to worry if you want to stay home for Easter to celebrate it with your family, relatives and friends. In fact, Italians have figured out a way to satisfy your cravings with authentic Italian chocolate even when you are thousands miles away from Italy: Kinder Surprise! Yes- unlike the general public’s assumption Kinder Surprise is in fact Italian, made by the successful family company Ferrero, and sells their Kinder Eggs all over the world as one of their best-seller item. Believe us, their chocolate recipe is approved by all the children in the world.
Want to get even fancier this Easter? Stop in the store to check out our special counter full of Italian Easter cakes, various baskets and colorful chocolate eggs to bring home! Or join us for our Chocolate Making Class to get your hands messy by making and decorating your own traditional Italian chocolate egg!
Buona Pasqua a tutti! Happy Easter Everyone!