A few weeks ago, it might even be a couple of months ago now, I noticed Cadbury’s Creme Eggs making their annual reappearance on supermarket shelves. As with displaying Christmas cards in September, they like to warm us up for Easter well in advance.
Such aggressive marketing can of course sicken us of the event long before it’s actually upon us, but in this instance, if you’re a fan of the Creme Egg, it lengthens the munching season which, to my mind, is no bad thing.
Here is one of the eggs of which I speak, lying down: And sitting up (I had to apply a blob of adhesive on its bottom for this shot, just as you would with a newborn baby, as it utterly refused to remain upright unaided): The Creme Egg is one of these clever confections, like the Tunnock’s teacake (featured elsewhere on this blog, click the name to see), that manages to wrap itself up in nothing more than a sheet of tin foil and some clever folds: Taken cumulatively over the years, I must have dedicated many hours to the consumption of Creme Eggs, but have yet to divest one of its foil without tearing the little jacket. However, if done carefully enough you can see that the jacket is simply a rectangle of prettily coloured foil: Despite being heavily barcoded, the Creme Egg must cause considerable annoyance to checkout assistants. I have often witnessed them trying and failing to scan Creme Eggs (I’ve even tried to do it myself at a self-service checkout and failed dismally), because of the way the foil is folded round the egg.
However you take the wrapper off, this is what greets you inside (apologies for the poor focus) – a beautiful chocolate egg shape with varying sizes of egg-shaped rings and a star in the middle on each side: What comes next is probably very much a matter of personal taste. I have tried various ways of breaking into a Creme Egg, but my favourite way is to bite into the top first, using a similar line of attack to that used on boiled eggs (except then I use a spoon, since I’m not yet a complete degenerate). I have, in fact, tried to open one by putting it in an egg cup and cracking it open with an egg spoon, but it wasn’t terribly successful and I remember the egg spoon getting very sticky with the fondant. As my father says, fingers were made before forks (and, by extension, teeth before spoons): Inside is a luscious, sticky, gooey fondant. Depending on how the egg has been stored, the texture of the fondant can sometimes be thicker and harder than it ought to be, but at its best it flows in a silky gloopy manner and glistens at you from inside its chocolate shell: Nowadays, I like to lick and slurp the fondant out but I remember in my youth I used to enjoy scooping it out with a teaspoon: When the little orange yokey bit is revealed it’s a joy to behold: Another thing I remember from my youth is that I used to enjoy a Creme Egg with a cup of tea (and still do), but rather than just dunk the egg in the tea or swish tea and egg around in my mouth together as I would do now, back then I used to use the scooping spoon to transfer some of my tea to the inside of the egg. I did it on this occasion, just for old time’s sake, but since it would distress my mother to see it and quite possibly lead to her disowning me, I’m not going to include the photo I took (it isn’t very nice, I must admit).
Around the egg, the thickness of the chocolate does vary a bit. For the most part it’s fairly uniform but towards one end – and with some eggs this is at the bottom and others at the top – there’s a a thicker, chunkier bit of chocolate. In the case of this egg it was at the bottom: I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever eaten more than one Creme Egg in a sitting. I have a very vague recollection of having done so once and having been left feeling so sick that I’ve never repeated the process, so – for me at least – more than one Creme Egg at a time would be too much. They’re so sweet, so sticky, so filling and so satisfying in themselves, that the shape and size Cadbury have made them is just right, in my opinion.
I generally buy my Creme Eggs singly, but now and then I splash out and buy a box of 6. I think it’s very fitting that Cadbury have jumped on the egg-packaging bandwagon by supplying them in half-dozen packs: