If aliens landed on our planet and wanted a run-down of the Earth’s celebrations and festivities, Easter might be one of the more difficult ones to explain.
Let’s try. Easter is a holiday that is deeply religious, but also not at all for many. It honours a prophet man to mark the day he rose from the dead, but children usually get more excited about a rabbit that lays colored and/or chocolate eggs. It signifies Spring but also is never on the same day year after year. And mostly, people just want chocolate in the form of bunnies and eggs. A lot of it.
Of course, we respect the symbolism and reverence of the day for those who cherish the religious side of this special day. But today, we’re going to focus on the more melt-in-your-mouth aspect of it: chocolate! Specifically chocolate bunnies.
Chocolate bunnies are wildly popular. Easter chocolate sales come in only second to that other candy holiday we all love and go batty for — Halloween, of course.
So just how many chocolate bunnies are sold, and presumably consumed, each Easter?
In the United States alone, estimates come in at as many as 91 million chocolate bunnies annually. That’s wild!
But that’s not where the staggering facts end. In honour of Easter approaching, let’s take a closer look at some more Easter chocolate facts and figures.
Chocolate Bunnies — What is Your Tradition?
There is a great cartoon that circulates around this time of year. Two chocolate Easter bunnies face each other. The first had its tail chopped off and its speech bubble says: “My tail hurts.” The other bunny, already missing its ears replies, “What?!” It’s very charming and cute.
This brings us to our next need-to-know fact. When asked, somewhere between 59-83% of Americans eat the ears of their chocolate bunny first. Next, only 4% go for the feet first, while 4% start with the tail. A bizarre 33% have no preference at all.
Chocolate eggs are the other go-to treat for people at Easter. And there are some truly staggering facts about chocolate eggs, too.
For one, chocolate eggs can be made pretty huge. The largest chocolate egg in history was huge — only 665 lighter than the average male African elephant. The largest chocolate bunny, however, was way bigger, weighing 9,360 pounds. So let’s get back to chocolate bunnies.
Recently, the largest rabbit made of chocolate was created in Brazil by the Equipe da Casa do Chocolate. It took nine professionals eight days straight to construct it. It weighed over 8,000 pounds and was over 13 feet tall.
What about cost? If you happen to have a cool extra 50k burning a hole in your pocket, you are in luck. You can spend it on the world’s most expensive chocolate bunny, which was worth $49,000. You may want to do a cleanse before and after, though, the chocolate bunny will add an extra 548,000 calories to your intake. The reason why it costs so much? Besides the labour and the ingredients, the bunny’s eyes were made of 1.7-carat diamonds.
What About Normal Chocolate Bunnies?
Chocolate companies have it down to a simple process. Molten chocolate is poured into a rabbit-shaped mould, which is then shaken or tapped to get the air bubbles out, and rotated so that the chocolate forms a thin, even shell. Then the bunny is carefully removed and packaged for sale.
How Are They Made?
This brings us to another interesting discussion — whether or not chocolate bunnies should be solid or hollow. Each person probably has their preference, and chocolate-makers certainly have their reasons, too.
One of the major reasons chocolate Easter bunnies are made hollow is so that people can actually eat them. Once the chocolate is over about 1/2 inch thick, it becomes nearly impossible for the average human to bite into it. Little kids probably wouldn’t be deterred and would take on the challenge, potentially damaging their teeth in the process. And besides, what’s a chocolate bunny if you can’t bite its ears off?
Hollow bunnies actually started hitting the markets as an ingredients-saving measure in America in WWII when cocoa was being strictly rationed. But these days, it’s more about the cost of the ingredients — it’s cheaper to make hollow bunnies and sell them for a great profit. However, there are plenty of solid chocolate bunnies still on the market.
The first chocolate bunnies were initially created in Germany in the mid-1800s. This makes sense because Germany is actually where the Easter bunny as we know it came from. Germans who immigrated to the United States and settled in Pennsylvania brought with them their tales of an egg-laying rabbit called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” As part of the fun, children were encouraged to make small nests in which this magical rabbit could lay its coloured eggs for well-behaved children to find.
After the first bunnies were made, they gained mass appeal on this side of the pond in 1890 when Robert Strohecker, an American shop owner, created a five-foot-tall chocolate rabbit as a promotion in his drug store. From there, chocolate bunnies started appearing for the holiday year after year.
We hope this provided some fun and interesting facts that you can bring to your next Easter feast. Maybe if the aliens mentioned at the beginning read this post, they’ll now understand the bizarre but beautiful tradition and holiday that is Easter. Or maybe they would be more confused. If anything, we could just offer them chocolate because the most loved treat on the planet is probably actually universally loved.
If you are celebrating Easter with your family, search up for easy easter bunny receipts or buy online for made easter bunny chocolate for your kids.