Chocolate Easter Bunny, Who Are You?
It has always been that with Easter comes that delicious yet slightly disturbing act of eating a chocolate Easter bunny. Why, out of all the animals, shapes, and chocolate molds that exist, do we eat chocolate Easter bunnies? To answer this question, we must look back in time. In fact, we must go all the way back to middle ages.
Both eggs and rabbits were associated with rebirth, and fertility during these times. The chocolate Easter bunny at this time did not even exist. At this point the Easter bunny was merely used as a symbol of the rebirth of Christ, and was given out as such along with candy to celebrate spring and Christ's resurrection. It wasn't until later that the bunny was made of chocolate, and actually became the candy given out during spring.
The next evolution in Easter bunnies was not the chocolate Easter bunny. It was actually a pastry Easter bunny that was sprinkled with sugar and candies. Included with these pastry bunnies, was small gummy candies shaped like eggs. These eggs turned out to be the early beginnings of the candy that is now called jelly beans. The Easter egg hunt also became tradition around this same time.
Then, in the early 1800's, the Germans began making small the small chocolate Easter bunny, and handed these out during Easter time for the children. This was the beginning, of what would become one of the most popular traditions during Easter to this day. Not surprisingly, good ideas die hard, and the Germans were to bring this brilliant recipe for Easter sweets all the way across the ocean to the United States.
A Trip Across the Atlantic
When the first German settlers arrived in the United States, they brought with them their traditions, and their chocolate. At this time, the Germans also brought their tradition of hiding candy. Initially the candy was hidden in the shoes of the children, but when the amount of candy given became too much to fit in the children's shoes, they started using baskets filled with straw.
The chocolate Easter bunny was not widespread until the early 1900's when the production of chocolate was given an extreme boost by industrial advances and mass production manufacturers. Once this occurred it was not long before kids countrywide, and worldwide, were enjoying candy baskets and the chocolate Easter bunny every year.