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The History Behind Eating Chocolate Eggs at Easter

The History Behind Eating Chocolate Eggs at Easter

Easter is one of the most beloved holidays of the year, and it’s often celebrated with chocolate. This sweet treat has been part of Easter festivities for centuries, from gifting a box of chocolates to indulging in an Easter egg hunt. But why have we come to associate Easter with chocolate? At Hill St. Chocolatiers in Saffron Walden, we believe that there are many reasons why giving or eating chocolate eggs at Easter has become such an integral part of our holiday celebrations.

The tradition of giving eggs at Easter

The tradition of eating and gifting chocolate at Easter dates back centuries ago when Christian Europeans began exchanging eggs as symbols of rebirth during Lent season. This evolved into candy-filled eggs made from sugar paste or marzipan, which became popular during springtime festivals at the end of Lent on Easter Sunday. Later on, these treats were replaced by hollowed-out chicken eggs filled with sweets and even small toys! It wasn’t much later that solidified cocoa butter was used to make edible “chocolate” eggs - a practice that continues today in many countries around the world.

The Victorian era saw a significant rise in the popularity of gifting chocolate at Easter. At the time, it was seen as an extravagant and luxurious chocolate treat, so gifting chocolates became a sign of status. Chocolate eggs were especially popular among children, as they were fun to eat and could be saved for later, or even traded with siblings.

The British chocolatier JS Fry & Sons are often credited with being the first to produce a hollow chocolate egg. To keep up with the growing demand for this new treat, they created a special machine to produce their eggs in 1873. This advanced technology allowed them to create hollow eggs at an unprecedented rate, which would soon become the most popular Easter treat in the UK.

Easter and Chocolate in the UK Today

Today, chocolate is still an integral part of Easter celebrations for many British people. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), over two-thirds of consumers purchase chocolate or other sweet treats during the Easter period.

Every year in the UK, around 80 million Easter eggs are sold, with each child consuming an average of 8 of them. That's over 8,000 calories! For the 2023 Easter season, parents are going to spend around £25 per child on sweet treats and chocolate and other friends and family will add a further £31, resulting in an estimated expenditure of £56 per child.

The survey also found that British consumers spend an average of £8.90 on chocolate for Easter and that over 30% buy multiple Easter eggs to gift to friends and family. In addition, the average chocolate egg purchased in the UK is 138g and contains around 320 calories. On average, people in Britain consume 8kg of chocolate a year, with the majority of this consumed during the Easter. period

At Hill St. Chocolatiers in Saffron Walden and Cambridge, we pride ourselves on creating delicious and luxurious handmade chocolates for all occasions. We are proud to offer an extensive selection of chocolates that are perfect for gifting at Easter, from luxurious chocolate Easter eggs to indulgent truffles, ganache and praline. All of our chocolates are handmade with the finest ingredients.

So why not treat yourself or a loved one this Easter with one of our exquisite Hill St. chocolate creations?

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