Italian Easter Tradition: Chocolate Eggs
Every single holiday in Italy has specific foods associated with it. During Christmas, Panettone is mandatory, Christmas Eve celebrates 7 fishes, New Year means lentils and so on and so forth. Since the ancient Romans, the egg has been a symbol for rebirth and to celebrate the Resurrection, Italians have chosen the egg. For modern Italians, the egg of choice is chocolate. These chocolate eggs can range from teeny tiny all the way up to being monstrous. Some eggs have even been larger than people! Leading up to Easter, Italian stores, coffee shops, and grocers stock their shelves and front windows with ornate chocolate eggs. When you walk through Italy during Easter, or Pasqua, you’ll see adults and children alike pressed up to shop windows to get a glimpse of these Easter treats. To catch the eye of as many people as possible, the chocolate eggs are adored expertly with colorful packaging, decorations, and ribbons. To follow the dietary practices of Lent, Italians have traditionally eaten hard boiled eggs during the Easter Season, however it was not until the 20th century that chocolate eggs became popular. Because chocolate was in such small supply during World War II, when it finally became accessible, the Italians didn’t miss a beat. Chocolate Easter Eggs are the most popular gift to give during Easter, usually filled with a surprise inside. These surprises are usually little trinkets or toys but artisanal chocolatiers will even put personalized gifts in the eggs. A lot of Spring proposals are done during Easter and a diamond engagement ring will be inside a true loves egg. Pasqua is an extremely important holiday for Italians and celebrating with a chocolate egg is an absolute must. Forget the jelly beans and stale marshmallows, just bring on the chocolate eggs!