Mar 23, 2011

You know Easter is approaching when...

...gourmet shops and delis begin to stock chocolate Easter eggs.

Walking home from the bus stop, I always peek in the store windows at Gargani. Today the view was completely blocked by a single shipment of chocolate eggs. Why so much of it, you ask? Easter chocolate is a big thing here! 

Besides roast lamb, Pastiera, hard boiled eggs, salame corallina and cheese-bread, Italians also consume huge quantities of chocolate for Easter. Mini egg-shaped truffles, gold chocolate bunnies, dark chocolate bells, and the classic hollow eggs that come in every size, and each bearing a trinket surprise inside. 

The ones pictured here in particular, are Swiss dark choclate coated in ground Piemonte hazelnuts. I know even if the boxes are sealed, because this is the one sure place I find my Noccior.

Soon much of the contents of these boxes will populate homes across Italy, make children smile, and deposit ruthlessly on thighs nationwide.

Bring it on.


  1. Ah, so true. The signs in the States are the appearance of the Easter marshmallow peeps...

  2. wow. i am just envisioning finding some chocolate addict passed out amonst all those empty boxes decorated in the wrappers...smiles.

  3. Hi Eleonora, I just emailed you about booking one of your culinary tours at the end of April. FHFB and I will be in Florence for 12 days beginning April 13th. I know that you are living in Rome, but is there any special restaurant (or great shoe store) that you would recommend for us to try in Florence? We love Garga and another restaurant that I can't remember (it's owned by Austrian princes I think). Hope all is well! xxoo

  4. Certainly the biggest Easter eggs I have ever seen have been in Italy :)

  5. the large supermarkets over here start selling chocolate eggs as soon as january :o Although its an easter treat here, people love them too much and buy them already.

    The same happens to kruidnoten (nut shaped cookies) Which are for st nicolas (celebrated between half nov to 5 december in holland, its a childrens feast comparable with la befana in italia and santa clause in us) Anyway, they start selling kruidnoten in august/sept cause people buy them anyway :s.

    Only christmas stuff is not sold untill 6 december. (because sinterklaas/saint nicolas should be celebrated first)

  6. Tuscan Foodie~
    What are marshmallow peeps? ;) they sound cute.

    Yes, that was me...

    Checking email now!

    I remember my grandfather would bring home the biggest decorated chocolate egg he could find, it became almost a joke. I remember as a small child actually fitting in one of the two halves when we cracked it open.

  7. I love your posts! I will be visiting Italy in April and we thought to bring some traditional Easter candy from the states to our italian family. Marshmallow peeps is on our list along with other typical treats. I know we can't compete with Italian chocolate, but would Italians appreciate getting a taste of some of our Easter candy? It is so difficult to think of things to bring from here when everything in Italy is so much better!

  8. Marshmallow Peeps are mushy marshmallow formed into little chicks (baby chickens) and coated with some ungodly yellow dye. Frankly, they are really nasty, the topic of many jokes. Only true sugar freaks can eat them.

  9. Long ago and far away I spent an Easter in Rome. It may have been years ago - but the memories are yesterday. And pastiera continues in my home. I will e-mail about tours...

  10. Gale~
    Trust me, Italians appreciate getting a taste of ANYTHING from the U.S.!! Bring Hershey bars too, it will bring back nostalgic memories of liberated WWII Italy to the older relatives.

    Funny, I've never heard of them. Are they a relatively new thing?

    Sensory memories are the strongest. Easter being such a tasty memory-maker! ;)

  11. Hare~
    I regularly post my anti-consumeristic rants around the holidays, because I hate how the whole "sacred" side of festivities is burdened by profit and exploitation. But not Easter. I am too much of a chocolate freak to oppose to early sale of chocolate eggs! ;)

  12. Oh those chocolate eggs with hazelnuts do sound tempting. I love all those Easter treats too and this year plan to bake a colomba.

  13. But if you didn't have a car, could you carry all those chocolate eggs in taxis? Oh, wait, wrong blog...!

  14. lol you take bribes of chocolate eggs to like easter. At least at your favorite chocolate shop they wait until an apropriate time. :)

    the noccoir egs look really tasty, i almost ate my computer screen :P

  15. Rach~

    Do you like Coniglio alla Cacciatora? I roast suckling lamb for Easter supper.

    Not too crazy for colomba, I prefer Pastiera, but kudos for attempting homeade dove-cake!!

    he he he...

    Uh oh.

  16. I forgot to mention that I'm a devout vegetarian. Poor suckling lamb.

  17. Cyberquill~
    I had picked that up from the sarcasm in your comments. So my answer was a provocation too.
    Devout carnivore and "fishetarian"

  18. Sarcasm? Me? Ridiculous. And you're neither a carnivore nor a fishetarian, but an omnivore.

  19. Lola, I just rented a truck and I will need a hand loading my newly purchased, "Lindt Chocolate", for the year..
    ~My Favorite~

  20. CChuck~
    I'll gladly help you, but do I get a cut? I'll take a box of the dark kind, thank you. ;)

  21. great picture, Eleonora!
    i have never seen such an Easter frenzy as in Rome. At Castroni is almost a maze of chocolate eggs in bigger or smaller sizes.

    no wonder mothers forbid the kids from going in the shop.