In America, Easter is the prime time for selling candy. According to Fortune, Americans spend about 50 percent more money on candy at Easter than Halloween, where the main event for most adults is usually handing out candy. Since so much else happens around Easter, it seems surprising that so much more on candy for this celebration of redemptive salvation and/or fertility, especially since candy does not seem ultimately conducive to either of these concepts. Regardless, in order to assist you in your buying decisions, I have gone through much stress and tummy-ache to sample several candy options offered at most grocery stores.
Jelly Beans: Jelly Belly is and will always be the best jelly bean, but most candy companies have their own attempt which rise to prominence around Easter time. Some of the better options are Starburst and Jolly Rancher, which have a wide range of flavors and are enjoyable for those who like fruit-flavored candy. Brach’s jelly beans have the most flavors, but still pale in comparison to Jelly Belly. Other attempts, like Mike & Ike and Swedish Fish jelly beans, taste the same as the regular candy, just in a different shape. Nerds jelly beans are notable in that they are “bumpy.” The Sour Patch jelly beans were the most disappointing because they were a bit flavorless, and neither sour nor especially sweet. There is even “The Jelly Bean Prayer” on which are printed inspiring messages such as “Heaven” and “Clean.”
Chocolate: Most candy companies release special Easter chocolate for this time of year. The reason it can be described as special and Easter is that it is egg-shaped or rabbit-shaped rather than however it normally is shaped. While this does not affect the taste much, it does make for a unique eating experience. For example, Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs are just a vaguely egg-shaped version of their Peanut Butter Cups. I actually prefer the egg version, as there is a greater peanut butter to chocolate ratio. Hershey also releases a white chocolate version of the Peanut Butter Eggs. This must simply be because the white chocolate makes them look slightly more like eggs, because otherwise this is just an all-around terrible idea.
Some chocolate treats that do come out just for the holiday include Peeps, Cadbury Crème Eggs and Mini Eggs. Peeps are marshmallows covered in sugar and shaped like chicks. Recently, there have also been chocolate-covered Peeps. The chocolate-covered Peeps are somehow even worse than the normal Peeps. I am not sure how they make the marshmallow portion worse than original Peeps, but they do somehow. Beneath the chocolate, the marshmallow is bright yellow and has a grainy texture, which is entirely unappetizing. I do not recall if I have experienced Cadbury Eggs prior to the writing of this article, but I understand these are fan favorites. I was unimpressed. The crème in the crème-filled ones was a creepy, syrupy muck of undetermined consistency. The Mini Eggs are better in that they were just chocolate-covered malt balls, but I was not a fan of those either. Admittedly, I am not much of an enjoyer of chocolate in general, unless it is dark chocolate. Still, these things are gross.
Bunnies: Since, as I said, I am not super fond of most chocolate candy, giant chunks of bunny-shaped chocolate are not appealing to me. However, as chocolate bunnies are one of the most iconic Easter images, I decided to try two of them. I selected Dove and Godiva dark chocolate bunnies to sample. The Godiva bunny is cuter than the Dove bunny while it is still in its wrapper. It holds a large purple egg which it peers from behind with a friendly expression. The Dove bunny is just a passive sideways-facing golden bunny. Once they are unwrapped, the Dove bunny, which is solid chocolate, retains its shape, while the hollow Godiva bunny looks more like a formless blob. As for taste, I preferred the Godiva bunny, which was less sweet than the Dove bunny. At an equal price, the Dove bunny provides you with more chocolate because it is solid, but for enjoyment, the Godiva bunny is superior. Whatever bunny you choose, it is most enjoyable and satisfying to start by eating the face.