27 April 2011
Posted in FOOD AND WINE
So sweet… So round… So precious… Italian Easter eggs made of chocolate are traditional gift given to a family and friends for the most important festivity: Easter..
The ancient custom carried on in modern version! For Italians there are two catholic feats which are being celebrated with high style: the Christmas and the Easter. With each of festivities characteristic customs and traditions are associated. But one of most wonderful and sweet tradition is an Easter chocolate egg tradition. The egg is old as the world itself symbol of life. All the history of Italian Easter egg begins in ancient Rome, according to saying “omne vivum ex ovo”, it means "all life comes from the egg". There are some proves that for spring (which comes after winter, traditionally associated with death) and spring festivities Romans were giving each other a hardboiled egg, decorated with vegetables dyes.
In the time of Christian religion, during the Lent for Italians the consumption of meat and dairy products were taboo, so to preserve eggs the housekeepers boiled and decorated them. Than those colorful eggs were given to friends and family, as a gift to be eaten on Easter Sunday. Traditional color for Italian Easter eggs was red: it comes from the legend of Mary Magdalena, who on Good Friday traveled to Italy to bring the news of the Resurrection. She brought a gift for a skeptical Emperor Tiberius Caesar and egg, which miraculously turned red as to symbolize the blood of Christ. But with popularization of chocolate in early 20th century the customized, hardboiled colored eggs were displaced by chocolate creations, which become the most popular Easter gift in Italy.
As Italians take everything that has to do with food in general and sweets in particular very seriously, the eggs were no exception. In attempt to gain as much customers as possible the manufactures were creating highly elaborated and richly adorned chocolate masterpieces. Inside those hollowed eggs a surprise was hidden like tiny toy, key chain or a small piece of jewelry. Generally those modern eggs must be eye catching: indeed are wrapped in colorful foil or cellophane tied with a ribbon. Some of them with huge bows, others in transparent cases, those are the most precious Easter eggs bringing to your mind the famous Faberge eggs made for Russian Czar’s family. Decorated with floral motifs of colored chocolate are containing sometimes quite elaborated gifts in their empty inside.
If you happen to visit Italy in the Easter period you will be amazed by choices offered by manufactures. From little, solid milk chocolate eggs wrapped in cartoon personages painted foil with hidden inside a kid suitable gifts; special eggs for ladies and for gentleman; eggs made with nuts “glued” together by pure dark chocolate; some laboratories offer to make the custom eggs with a gifts delivered by clients. Those are getting really popular lately, especially for “in loves” who wish to surprise their partner with unusual engagement and engagement ring hidden inside the egg. In fact, those is starting to be one of modern Italian traditions. So, as it is those of you who loves chocolate should visit Italy in the sweet time of Easter. Not only to gorge themselves on eggs but to admire the beauty and uniqueness of landscape and reborn Nature. Who knows? Maybe an Easter trip to Italy will bring not only egg, but the engagement ring inside it? For those couples who already are betrothed we have a wonderful wedding location by the lake District. Surrounded by green woods, just by the edge of famous Como Lake the wonderful and luxurious:
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni