Giant Chocolate Eggs

Tim Fonseca whips up some enormous ornate giant chocolate eggs. And they’re edible and incredibly delicious!

Here’s some giant Chocolate Eggs getting ready to leave the Pastry Shop at the Four Seasons Hotel, Boston.

Giant Chocolate Eggs leaving the pastry shop

Here’s Tim with some giant Chocolate Eggs.

Giant Chocolate Eggs

Here’s Tim again with some giant Chocolate Eggs. They’re on display in the main dining room at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston.

Giant Chocolate Eggs in main dining room

Here’s an excerpt from a 2013 NPR Food article. It helps clarify the Giant Chocolate Eggs craze in Italy.

Italy’s Chocolate Easter Eggs: Big, Bold And Full Of Bling

In Italy, there are no Easter egg hunts, no marshmallow Peeps and definitely no jelly beans.

Instead, there are chocolate eggs — massive, elaborately decorated, beautifully wrapped chocolate Easter eggs that now fill shop windows across the country. The sweet treats are considered Italians’ food gift of choice at this time of year. And each one comes with a surprise tucked inside.

“You want something that really gives a big effect,” says Rome-based food writer Elizabeth Minchelli.

In mass-produced eggs, the hidden prize is often a simple trinket, such as a key chain. But artisanal chocolatiers also abound — and many will make customized eggs for clients with a personalized gift hidden within. And the gift-giving can get quite elaborate.

“Engagement rings and car keys are typical gifts,” says Maurizio Proietti, a second-generation chocolate maker and owner of Rome’s La Bottega del Cioccolato, naming some of the gifts he’s been asked to conceal. “Two tickets to a tropical island — that was something unusual.”

The surprise inside, adds Minchilli, depends on whom it’s for. “A typical gift would be a charm for a necklace or bracelet,” she tells The Salt. “But if it’s for your wife, you might get a very small egg with gold earrings inside. A child might get a small toy.”

A symbol of rebirth and renewal, eggs have long been associated with spring around the world. Chocolate eggs started becoming popular across Europe at the end of the 19th century, as chocolate became more affordable. But in Italy, the tradition really took off after World War II, when people weary of wartime deprivations finally found themselves with a little extra spending money, Minchilli says. She’s watched the tradition evolve over the 40 years she’s lived in Rome.

“I can remember living here in the ’70s, and the eggs were quite simple. But they grew and grew, along with the idea that they have some sort of surprise inside,” she tells The Salt. “Like a lot of traditions in Italy, they start very simply, with people giving a chocolate egg at Easter, and as time went on, people wanted to make a bella figura, a special gift, for the holiday.” (more at NPR)