Chocolate for Easter: A Brief History

Chocolate eggs for Easter have become tradition in Europe and many parts of the world. In fact, they are synonymous with Easter gifts. Here at Alpes d’Or we specialise in the finest luxury gift chocolates of Swiss and Belgian origin so we’re naturally curious about how this delicious tradition developed!


What do eggs symbolise?

The egg has symbolised many concepts throughout history: fertility, Spring, change of season, luck, wealth, beginnings, birth and rebirth. It is any wonder that it makes a popular gift! Exchanging eggs was a custom in many ancient civilizations and this evolved to exchanging coloured eggs that were beautifully hand painted or dyed. The bright and beautiful colours were reminiscent of sunlight, flowers and the coming harvest.

Fabergé Eggs (Image credit)

From egg to art form

The colorful designs of hand dyed and painted eggs reached new heights when in the 19th century Russian Tsar Alexander presented his wife with a unique Easter gift: a spectacularly ornate egg made of gold and precious jewels, created by the famed jewelry House of Fabergé. These Fabergé Easter eggs were hollow in the middle and opened to reveal jewelry, pictures or trinkets. Luxurious and highly sought after, they quickly became something of a legend in Russian aristocracy and the world at large. Their beauty and detail inspired many imitations and were said to further popularise a bright and gaudy egg, making it the fashionable gift for Easter.

Chocolate Easter Egg
Chocolate Easter Eggs

Origins of the chocolate egg

In the 19th century chocolatiers in France and Germany were experimenting with creating chocolate eggs for Easter. In fact, the earliest documented chocolate egg was recorded in 1862 where German border control seized a chocolate egg, declaring it suspicious due to how unique and unusual it was1. The egg was returned to Paris, leaving a confused customs team and a very disappointed chocolate connoisseur! Early chocolate eggs were solid, as it was difficult to get chocolate to fill or flow into a mould. With the chocolate innovations of the late 19th century – namely increased production of cocoa butter and cocoa isolate – the chocolate egg was able to be made hollow, meaning they were easier and cheaper to produce and they grew in popularity and accessibility.

Chocolate Eggs today

Today many chocolate Easter eggs have intricate patterns and colours and can come in any shape, size and colour. Other popular chocolate shapes include rabbits, chickens, and flowers – there has even been chocolate creations to imitate the early, famed Fabergé egg! Each year millions of chocolate eggs are gifted at Easter and millions of happy memories are created with them. The team at Alpes d’Or firmly believe that chocolate is the finest gift, and we wish everyone a wonderful Easter and a fortuitous change of season. It’s never a bad idea to gift chocolate, and you can order our exquisite collections online today.

Alpes d'Or chocolate