If you ask people, especially kids, to tell you one thing they love about Easter, inevitably, the Easter basket and all of the chocolate bunny treats inside will come up again and again. Even now, the store shelves are already lined with woven baskets, chocolate gift baskets and gift boxes ready to be filled with shreds of colored paper, chocolates, truffles, chocolate Easter bunnies, jelly beans and fruits. Once these Easter treats are devoured, these same baskets are ready for an annual egg hunt and to be filled again with the sweet treats of the holiday.
Like many other holiday traditions, the Easter basket is one that has a long history behind it, beginning with the heroine goddess of our Easter collection: Ostara.
Ostara was celebrated by all in her orbit for bringing the spring and the joyful abundance that comes with it. Some say Ostara had minions that were rabbits. Others insist she was hare-headed herself. Her sacred animal was once a dying bird with frozen wings. Legend says she revived him, removed his broken wings and turned him into a rabbit. Because he had once been able to lay eggs, it is said that she bestowed him with the powers of everlasting fertility and an ability to produce eggs once a year to commemorate Spring Equinox rituals and Ostara, herself. It has been told that children presented the goddess with gifts of eggs for bringing them this new, sun-drenched season. So touched was Ostara by their gesture, she recruited her rabbits to color the eggs and return them to the children brightly hued, in birds’ nests, the predecessor to the Easter basket.
In the 1600’s the tradition of Easter baskets spread throughout Europe, where folklore suggested the delivery of colored eggs, left by a rabbit at the doorways of homes with children. When the settlers came to the US, this tradition was brought with them, and today, the Easter basket is a symbol of the awakening of spring, nests filled with eggs that will bring new life, and of the fertility of the womb itself.
Today, a gourmet Easter basket filled with goodies is a mainstay of the holiday. Chocolatiers all over the world fill their shop windows with beautiful gourmet chocolate eggs and chocolate Easter bunnies to be shared on Easter morning or as a hostess gift for Easter dinner. This year, we went into the kitchen to create some new Easter treats to bring whimsy and childlike wonder to your Easter gift. As a homage to Ostara and her rabbits, our offerings take their cues from her story and these sweet treats of rabbits and eggs will delight everyone who receives them from the Easter bunny!
When crafting your gourmet Easter basket, here are some of the best ways to celebrate the holiday, while being mindful of the environment and making a big impression.
- Your Easter basket doesn’t have to be a basket at all! Craft the perfect Easter gift using a reusable tote bag, a metal bucket, a terra cotta planter or perhaps one of your emptied Vosges boxes.
- Skip the plastic and use shredded recycled paper or moss to line the inside of your Easter basket. It’s colorful and it won’t harm the earth!
- Avoid plastic eggs and use mason jars that can be used to store new treats and treasures once emptied.
- Use natural dyes to color eggs. The plant and vegetable world offers a rainbow of colors for making vibrant Easter eggs without synthetic colors.
- And of course, include lots of chocolate!
We made this Easter a family affair. Katrina’s 8-year old son, Atreyu, was our guest artist-in-residence and created the illustrations for two of our limited edition collections. His playful and fanciful bunny and deer were used to illustrate two new items perfect for kids or the kid in you.
Petit toadstools made with crumbled sugar cookies melted into cocoa butter-rich, 36% cacao white chocolate and sprinkled with all-naturally purple sugar crystals. The cookies in these bites are a favorite of Katrina’s two boys and they make a whimsical addition to anyone’s Easter basket.
A smaller version of our Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs for the little ones on your Easter list or for a more petite sweet treat. Artisan peanut butter is infused with pink Himalayan salt and encased in 45% cacao deep milk chocolate to make these decadent bites.
To round out our Easter offerings, we created new parfums to delight the palate and welcome the spring.
Our fluffle of rabbits allows you to experience the pleasures of traipsing through a garden filled with the sweet bounties of the earth. Using the prized I.G.P. Piemonte hazelnuts encased in 45% cacao deep milk chocolate, we have blended in Valencia orange candied carrot for the zest of citrus and the crunch of the carrot.
The parfums of delicate wild strawberries and prized Bulgarian rose are captured in these delightful 62% cacao dark chocolate rabbits. This is the perfect bite of spring fruit, chocolate and the sultry rose.
When you sink your teeth into the peanut butter milk chocolate center concealed inside each decadent, yet playful chocolate Easter egg, you will taste the richness and sweetness of peanut butter with a touch of salt. This is not your ordinary peanut butter egg!
These are just some of the Vosges chocolates that will make your Easter gift baskets extra special!
All of them welcome the spring in the spirit of Ostara. They remind us to indulge in the sweetest bites of life, to have gratitude for a new season of growth and to take time for play. They are as much for the sophisticated palate as they are for the young and young at heart. They also remind us that this spring, unlike the recent ones before it, takes on more meaning as the world awakens to a new dawn post-pandemic, with the hope and anticipation of better days to come. May your Easter gift baskets be full and may you celebrate the longer, brighter days that are before you.
Interested in learning about the different chocolate collections Vosges Haut-Chocolat has to offer? Follow the links provided to discover our signature Chocolate Ritual Collections and Chocolate Meditation Collections.