By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietitian
The focus on world events may have distracted you from some pressing questions. What’s in your Easter Basket? Hollow or solid chocolate bunny? Plastic or real eggs? Sour, fruity, or traditional jellybeans? Or are you one of those peep lovers? Peep. Peep. Peep! It’s sure to provide stimulating conversation at your next family gathering.
Fascinating research my fingertips found on the subject shows that we spend around $20 filling our baskets. Lining the pockets of candymakers with over $18 million during the Easter holiday season alone. The research company Pattern shows the top 5 selling candies are Cadbury Eggs (both big and mini), Reese Eggs, Starburst jellybeans, Robin’s eggs, and chocolate bunnies. There were 75,000 consumers who searched for jellybeans on Amazon last year as the clock ticked closer to the bunny’s big hopping delivery day! That is just crazy talk but, what can I say, the Detwilers love jellybeans. One year when the boys were teenagers, we had a jellybean tasting contest. Starburst came in for the awe-inspiring victory, but close second was jolly rancher/sweet tarts. Our Easter baskets evolved to the final years of each basket owner getting a big bag of their favorite jellybeans, a chocolate bunny/cross and of course some Reese Eggs that they had to share with Mom.
The Easter egg became associated with Easter symbolizing renewal and rebirth. No matter what came first, the Easter Egg or the Easter Bunny, there is no doubt eggs are going to take center stage for the next month. Giant candy eggs, egg-shaped chocolate, and other candies will be filling our baskets, not to mention all the hunts, rolls, adventures popping up on Facebook in communities near you. Lots of these will feature the plastic kind filled with loot such as candy, junk drawer stuff and maybe even money. But let’s talk real Eggs! The eggsperts at the American Egg Board state over 2.7 billion eggs were sold in the weeks leading to Easter 2017. Ohio is second in egg production so a big shout out to Ohio egg producers contributing to the Easter Egg craze. They are boiled, dyed, and decorated in a multitude of ways and colors.
Holy Moly what the heck do you do with all those eggs? The food waste police say bring on deviled eggs and egg salad. The history of egg salad is a little dubious, but the bottom line is egg salad couldn’t possibly have arrived at the table until it’s most notable ingredient mayo was created. The invention of mayo and sandwiches is what put egg salad on our plates. Its official debut came in the 1896 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook written by Fannie Farmer. The founding recipes consisted of eggs, mayo, salt, pepper, and bread. Today, there are more twists and spins on egg salad than a windy mountain road. Create these enticing variations and put some pep in your egg salad.
Eat well & healthy