No less than Christmas time, Easter brings to Italian tables…
In celebration of the now approaching Easter and its chocolate frenzy going along with it, we have been looking into chocolate closer than usual even !
Chocolate in Rome
Around this time of year, the air around a particular Trastevere shop in Rome leaves us all astonished…the elderly couple who keeps us all supplied with made-on-request cannoli di ricotta (exquisite sweet cakes ornamented with candied peel) and beautifully packaged peppery dark chocolates, during the rest of the year, now pull out all the stops to produce Easter eggs for Rome’s most discerning palates… Mm, that would remind me of the Chocolate Factory motion picture by Warner Bros !
You would find it hard to walk past without stopping by. Just think you may have arrived too late for temptation, but then you find Signor and Signora working away inside, mixing and moulding the Easter confections which appear in the weeks before Rome’s major festival are works of art, unchanged over the decades. And sometime after the April celebrations, fragments of broken Easter eggs appear in the shop for visitors to taste, and I can report that they are just as delicious…
Easter Egg Exhibition in Rome :
From 17th march at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome takes place "L’Uovo d’Autore“ (Art and the Easter Eggs) where you will be able to admire an extensive art collection of easter eggs . The funds will be used to a charity to fight the genetic disease which is fibrosis.
Chocolate in Italy :
A chocolate beauty parlour and a chocolate igloo are just some of the attractions at the Eurochocolate Festival in Perugia.
Last year in Perugia over three tonnes of dark chocolate bricks were cemented together with melted milk chocolate – much to the disagreement of the chocaholics hanging around : why couldn’t they just eat it instead ?
Fair G r Cinzia, Italian, reports that chocolate is a translation of hugging and cuddling because it represents all sweetness in life. It seems it also means smooth skin, tasty fingers and very sticky hair if you believe in alternative beauty dos : Because here every treatment uses chocolate, including facials, massages and fancy hair dos.
Organisator of the Eurochocolate Filippo Pinelli, says that they also take time to explain to the small Italian children that unfortunately many of the chocolate bars they enjoy are made with the cocoa that underage children of Africa, South America and Asia have to produce when forced to work. The Unicef puts lots of effort to help children get away from these terrible situations and so should we be aware of what we are buying too to help prevent some of the exploitation.
A curiosity is also the Armani Easter Egg, which is not a perfume or a top fashion accessory or shoe but an actual Chocolate egg which you –yes- eat.
The origins of the Chocolate Easter egg :
Since ages the easter egg has had an important symbolic value. Romans would name it “omne vivum ex ovo” which meant that it was the symbol of fertility and life itself. Christians also believed that the egg represented the life after passing over and Nowadays the real meaning of the egg got lost : indeed when given an egg it was a present to convey love and friendship.
It is said that the French King François I was presented the first Easter chocolate egg in history around 1500 and it is believed tradition of putting a small present inside started then.
However it is the Tsars in Russia who made the Easter Eggs to be an important present since they would decorate them with precious stones. Think of the Fabergé Egg , which is not made of chocolate but of gold and precious jewels : Peter Carl Fabergé was appointed jeweller and goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court.
Other meaning of Easter egg : Some softwares have hidden functions or extra programmes such as videogames not advertised and which you discover when striking a particular key. They are a bonus, and are called therefore an Easter Egg, because it is a welcome surprise, a present. A famous example is Microsoft Office where sometimes you would bargain a videogame while using your Office package, but alas no longer it seems.
Sweet tooth will want to stop over for a few days, and staying in the centre of Rome is the easiest way to get around; Try our brand new 3 star hotel Yes Hotel Rome