Sweet Treats in Florence

5 Iconic Easter Treats

5 Iconic Easter Treats 

By Sadra Sumner

The Origins of Candy at Easter

Marshmallow peeps, peanut butter eggs, and chocolate bunnies are nearing their Super Bowl. With Easter around the corner, sweet treats will be center stage across the globe. But where did the tradition of Easter candy first originate?
 
Easter is synonymous with spring, which is all about rebirth. Whether you trace its origins back to Ēostre, a Germanic spring goddess, or the Christian tradition of Jesus rising, you see the theme of renewal. How we made the leap from rejuvenation to chocolate covered treats spans centuries.
 
Many in the Western world associate the Easter bunny with egg hunts and hidden baskets filled with goodies. This sometimes scary mascot of Easter first came on the scene in the 1700’s. It’s thought to have been a German tradition, symbolizing new life. Some say the Germans may have once thought colorful egg-laying bunnies to ring in spring. Their decorated eggs soon turned into chocolate and peanut butter varieties to please the American sweet-tooth.
 
Nowadays, it’s hard to miss the florescent candy that lines the grocery store aisle at Easter time. Here’s a deeper dive into five of the most iconic Easter treats:
Eiffel Tower cookies and macaroons

5. Marshmallow Peeps – a mainstay of Easter

The grand master of edible Easter decorations, this quintessential chick dates back to 1953. Russian-born founder Sam Born created the brand ‘Just Born’, a lesser-known confectionary name that specializes in peep production. Now based in Bethlehem, Pa, the irony of the Peep’s birthplace being synonymous with Jesus’ isn’t lost on us.

 

4. Peanut Butter Eggs – a bite-size treat

Another Pennsylvania all-star, Reese’s peanut butter egg first debuted here in 1966. It wasn’t a big stretch for the chocolate/peanut butter giant, but their egg-like form made them an Easter must-have. The Reese’s brand alone now has 130+ products. Peanut butter + chocolate: a match made in Hershey heaven.

 

Ghirardelli chocolate

3. Cadbury Cream Egg – an Easter classic

A royal treat, this 1875 concoction was patented by John Cadbury as he attempted to out-chocolate his competition. The cream filling, which wasn’t added until 1963, now varies from country to country. Other controversies abound, but we think the iconic egg is here to stay.

 

2. Jelly Beans – colorful non-chocolate treats

Colorful and ready to pop into your mouth, jelly beans make for a great post-dinner treat bowl. Jelly Belly has cornered the gourmet jelly bean market, coming onto the scene in 1976. With funky flavors like toasted marshmallow and the first non-fruit flavored jelly bean – chocolate pudding, the variety makes them hard to pass up.

 

1. Classic Chocolate Bunny – Easter’s centerpiece

The gold-wrapped, red-collared Lindt bunny represents a simple Easter pleasure. It’s a milk chocolate delight disguised in a whimsical rabbit shape. There is nothing quite as symbolic of Easter treats than this little guy at the end of an aisle. Or for many, on their kitchen table.

 

colorful pastries with strawberries and chocolate

Conclusion

Easter celebrations are often bookended with seasonal, sugary chocolate treats. These little goodies needn’t be a part of your everyday diet, but they’re certainly fun to indulge in once a year. They likely won’t help with your rejuvenation efforts, but they’re a nice treat after all that spring cleaning you’ve been up to.
 
We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning the origins of some of your favorite Easter candy. We can’t wait to see what’s in our basket this year!
 
Looking to enjoy some sweet treats abroad?  Check out our Florence Food Tours on your next trip to Italy!