31/03/2018

A BRIEF HISTORY OF EASTER EGGS...



The egg has long been a symbol of rebirth and fertility. Thousands of years ago, a simple bird's egg might have been a gift, often painted so as to celebrate the colours and the vibrancy that marked the coming of the spring, when the sun god stirred to life again. 

With the coming of Christianity, the egg continued to be used as a symbol of the faith. In 1307, Edward I’s household accounts included the following entry: 18 pence for 459 eggs to be boiled and dyed or covered with gold leaf and distributed to the royal household

If you also want a golden egg, wrap a chicken's egg in onion skins, secure the skins with string or rubber bands, then simmer in a pan of water for up to an hour – by which time the egg should be marbled gold. 

Then again, you might prefer a more valuable alternative, such as the flawless jewelled affairs created by Carl Faberge in the nineteenth century for the Russian Czar and Czarina, each marvellous egg constructed of enamelled platinum, and containing a smaller golden one. 

A Faberge egg


Such a rare and priceless gift is unlikely to find its way into our hands this Easter morning. But many children's fingers will be sticky from holding chocolate ~ the melting quality of which makes it  possible to mould into egg shaped confectionery.



Price list for some of the earliest Cadbury's Easter eggs


The first chocolate eggs were developed in France and also Germany. In England, in 1842, John Cadbury constructed the first of the solid chocolate eggs. But, not until 1875, when a press was used to separate the cocoa butter from the bean, could a finer chocolate be made, much easier to melt and mould. The first commercial Easter eggs were made of smooth plain chocolate and filled with small dragees, or sweets, but other designs soon followed on, with icing decorations and flowers made of marzipan, their boxes wrapped with ribbons ... just as they still are today.





For a related post, see: THE SWEET SUCCESS OF CADBURY'S.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you - you answered the very question I was pondering: Can I have chocolate Easter eggs in my 1880s novel?
    I'm just going to check out the link now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My 1840s novel characters had better just paint hens' eggs then. Lovely post. My Lindor egg is sadly long gone and is the only one I got. Wish I was 10 again, when I used to get half a dozen Easter eggs each year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This blog is content amazing information about Easter decoration which is very useful for me. It very important information about Easter festival.
    Thank you very much for this great information.
    Easter Egg History

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  5. really intresting

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  6. This was such an interesting post! My husband and I were talking about Easter eggs this morning over coffee. I wonder when the practice of dying eggs began and whether that was ever a practice in England or Europe?

    ReplyDelete
  7. This was such an interesting post! My husband and I were talking about Easter eggs this morning over coffee. I wonder when the practice of dying eggs began and whether that was ever a practice in England or Europe?

    ReplyDelete
  8. The Faberge eggs were/are stunningly beautiful and endlessly creative. They set a standard that no one will ever be able to meet.

    ReplyDelete