The overpriced Easter egg report

It’s almost Easter, so let’s check in on the most absurdly expensive Easter eggs I could find online. I do this every year. I still haven’t figured out why.

Low end? An extra-thick dark chocolate egg filled with individual truffles. They’re made with gin, wine, rum, and–

No, sorry. I was going to write opiates, but they’re not listed. My mistake. 

Putting filled chocolates, or in this case, truffles, inside an egg is a British thing at this time of year. I never saw that done in the U.S. So there’s your vague gesture in the direction of intercultural education.

That’s from Hotel Chocolat for £29. With that, you get five paragraphs of prose, a generous side of adjectives, and a warning that the truffles aren’t for children. 

Marginally relevant photo: This is your Easter periwinkle. If you don’t celebrate Easter, don’t worry about it–I don’t either. As far as I know, it’s not an Easter flower.

 

Yeah, but surely we can waste more money than that 

Hotel Chocolat also has a £55 two-tier box of chocolates. It’s not actually an egg, but why should we follow the rules when I’m the one who made them? Since it’s expensive enough to be called a cabinet, not a box, it fits right in here. 

Yeah, it looks like a box to me too. Shows you what we know. 

The money must’ve gone into the packaging here, because you only get four paragraphs of prose, and they’re shorter than the ones that come with the £29 egg.

Cheapskates.

At Fornum & Mason’s you can find a £45 milk chocolate egg that Glamour Magazine tells us is a work of art with a flawless shine and tercentenary-blend chocolate. A centenary or so back, I worked in a candy factory and I never once heard of a tercentenary blend. But then we weren’t making high-end chocolates. And they wouldn’t have told me what was going on anyway.

Each egg’s handcrafted to make sure it’s a little different from all the others. And every last one of them is better than all the others. They’re all guaranteed to rot your teeth. 

Enjoy.

Glamour also wedges in a Fortum & Mason’s spring hamper, which is cheating but the prices haven’t gotten absurd enough yet, so let’s go with it. It costs £125 and whoever wrote their article swears that Glamour readers are snapping up F & M hampers. 

Uh huh.

The hamper includes biscuits, which are cookies if you’re American, and–oh, other stuff, including a rosé sparkling tea that’s 0% ABV. That means alcohol by volume. Most tea is 0% alcohol by volume–it’s one reason you drink it to stay awake–but you don’t usually pay enough for that to be mentioned. 

On the other hand, most tea isn’t sparkling. Or rosé

No, I haven’t the faintest idea what the stuff is. But do you really care what’s in the hamper? It’s from Fortnum & Mason’s. It comes in a wicker basket that’s called a hamper because that’s how they do things over here.

Where I come from, the only thing we called a hamper was the whatsit we threw our dirty clothes in. We kept our cookies somewhere else. We’d have kept our tea somewhere else too but we didn’t drink tea.

And yes, of course I read Glamour Magazine. Once a year, just before Easter. They helped me develop the look you can admire in the photo at the top right of Notes’ home page.

 

Onward

For £80, you can get 200 grams of boring looking chocolate egg, in milk or dark, from Marchesi. Except for the price, this is minimalism–one paragraph of low-key prose, muted colors, and not much in the way of decoration on the egg itself. 

For reasons they don’t bother to explain, it’s called Girl, even though it’s pretty clearly not a girl but a chocolate egg.

You can also get one called Boy, which is not a boy any more than Girl is a girl. When I worked at the candy factory, no one ever talked about the chocolate having either a gender or a sex, but maybe we were missing the obvious.

If you go up to £85, you get 300 grams of gender-free chocolate. 

The Hotel de Crillon, which unlike Hotel Chocolat seems to be a real hotel, offers a chocolate egg with a car driving out of it.

Sorry, did I say a car? “The famous D.S, the Palace’s iconic car,” and it doesn’t drive out, it “seems to emerge.” Which sort of implies that it doesn’t really emerge, it just fools you into thinking it does while it’s actually still in bed. But you’ll have to spend £70 to find out for sure.

Spend £100 and you can buy a kilo–that’s 2.2 pounds–of milk chocolate and hazelnuts from Venchi. It comes with almost no prose, but the photos dance around a bit, whether you want them to or not.

 

Eggs we’ve probably missed out on

For £150, Harrod’s has an egg that as far as I can tell is mostly air. (Ever wonder why the rich are thin?) It’s made of anorexic slabs of chocolate finished with gold leaf and separated by layers of luxury air. They only made fifty, so we’ve probably missed our chance.

For £140, you can get a ceramic egg with ears from Harvey Nichols. It comes with truffles inside. Only thirty were made, so we’re probably too late, but I’ve got a £1 bag of chocolate eggs in the other room and I’d be happy to share. When I was working in the candy factory, I lost my taste for candy anyway.

 

And at the top of the obscenity scale

The most expensive egg comes from Choccywoccydoodah (I had to cut and paste that) and costs–yes indeed–£25,000. Or possibly £10,000. I’ve found both prices quoted. I put it down to journalists going comatose in the presence of high numbers, but really, at a certain point, who cares? So what if it all get a little murky when we get to the cash register?   

Each egg weighs 220 pounds, or 100 kilos, and wrecks my explanation of why the rich are thin. More to the point, each one also has an intricately detailed scene inside, featuring dragons, or ducks, or hares, or whatever. And each one takes three weeks to make. 

And then, presumably, some barbarian comes along and eats the thing. Or doesn’t eat it and you end up with cockroaches. 

How is it possible to sell a chocolate egg for that kind of money? Well, as it happen yesterday morning’s paper let me know that in 2020 one of the directors of a gambling website was paid £48,000 per hour for every hour of every day–working, sleeping, and otherwise–that could be scratched out of the year. 

That may explain why a very few people lose their sense of proportion.

British Easter eggs: it’s the price that counts

It’s almost Easter, so let’s drop in on those good folks who find themselves with an excess of money at this and every other time of year. Yes friends, with inequality on the increase and income being redistributed upward, it can be hard to figure out what to do with all that annoying cash (and its virtual equivalent), so when a few of the holidays come around I like to make a few useful suggestions. Because I do so want to be helpful.

What do I do with my cash? As a rule, I drop it on the floor of the village store while I’m wrestling change out of my pocket. I tell you, I can’t get rid of the stuff fast enough.

Anyway, welcome to the world of luxury Easter eggs. Let’s see how much money we can spend. And before someone else mentions it, let me be clear that what follows in no way represents the way 99.99% of British people live, or even what interests them; 99% of British Easter eggs sell for supermarket-type prices, at a rough guess £10 at the top end, three for £10 in the middle, and small eggs and chocolate rabbits for £1. I mention that because I want to be clear that I won’t be talking about the world most of us live in here.

Irrelevant and ever so slightly odd photo: This is Fast Eddie in motion. He doesn’t eat chocolate.

Ready?

For a mere £85, you can get a single-origin milk chocolate egg, boringly decorated with cherry blossoms, or the same thing in dark chocolate, only the dark chocolate’s from Madagascar, which may mean it’s more singular than single origin or may mean it’s less singular. We’re not told the origin of the milk chocolate, only that it’s singular. Maybe wherever it came from doesn’t sound as exotic as Madagascar. Maybe it’s from New Jersey.

Do they grow cacao in New Jersey? Not last I heard but it calls itself the garden state, so we can’t rule it out.

Which is better, single origin or Madagascan? Who cares. They cost the same.

The eggs weigh in at 800 grams of chocolate, which (in case your brain is wired non-metrically) is way the hell more than a pound of the stuff.

On the other hand, for £5 less (that’s £80, and aren’t you just proud of me that I figured that out?), you can get an ostrich Easter egg that’s half milk and half dark, filled with smaller chocolates and accompanied by a tray of chocolates that didn’t fit inside because those damned ostriches never did learn to plan ahead. They don’t really stick their heads in the sand to hide from danger, but you still can’t count on them to plan.

Is there a difference between planning and planning ahead? What else could you plan for if not something that’s ahead?

The egg is more than a kilo of chocolate, which translates to more than 2.2 pounds in non-metricality. How much more? They’re not saying. And you get zero decoration on the egg.

A bit further down the scale, for £57.50 you can get a milk chocolate egg “stippled” with dark chocolate and decorated with multicolored flowers. It’s not as expensive as the one with the cherry blossoms, but it is more colorful and more care went into arranging the verbiage. It’s not just stippled, it’s sumptuous. It “started life as the finest Swiss Grand Cru milk chocolate,” which makes me think that as a vegetarian I probably probably shouldn’t eat it. I don’t want to bite into something whose life was cut short because I wanted a snack.

Whether or not it was once alive, it now weights 600 grams.

Since I brought up the verbiage, I might as well say that I wouldn’t pay extra for it, no matter how carefully it’s arranged. You can’t eat the stuff.

And by way of full disclosure, I should say that I don’t want an Easter egg myself—especially an expensive one. I used to work in a candy factory and it cured me. I lost interest in almost all candy, although I do sometimes want good, plain dark chocolate—the kind most people think it meant for cooking.

But enough of that. As I was researching this post (I googled “easter eggs, luxury”—and yes, I included the comma; I can’t help myself), predictive text offered me “easter eggs the devil’s testicles.” And although—sorry, gents—testicles don’t interest me and I feel roughly the same way about the devil, the combination was too much to pass up. I’m here to tell you about parts of the world you might not stumble into yourself, right? So I clicked a few links and found that someone’s written a book that asks the burning question, “Are your children playing with Lucifer’s testicles?”

You thought they’d gone kind of quiet in the back bedroom, didn’t you?

[A late addition: Mikedw and Ubi Dubium (a) read the site more carefully than I did and (b) are more knowledgeable than I am, and both pointed out that it’s a satirical site. You can see their comments below. So I tripped on my own feet there. That’s particularly embarrassing since a blogger or two believed some of the more bizarre things I’ve said, including that Druids worshiped the Great Brussels Sprout, linked to them, and commented on them. But there’s no cure for embarrassement like admitting to it, so here you go. Read the rest of this with that in mind–I haven’t changed it.]

Now, I’m not so dedicated to this blog that I’m going to read the book for you, and no way in hell would I encourage the author by parting with money for it—I’d rather set the money on fire, thanks. So I’m limited to what the website told me, but it sound like the author recommends telling your children that their little heathen friends celebrate Easter the way they do because “in the old days, deluded pagans would gather round and hump like bunnies on Easter Sunday because they thought it would make their tomatoes grow faster.”

By way of extreme generosity, let’s assume (although it doesn’t say this) that you’re supposed to tell them about humping like bunnies in the most tolerant and age-appropriate way. You might also want to tell your kids why the pagans celebrated Easter on a Sunday, being as how they were pagans and all.

A quotation from the book says, “Pagan kids didn’t have anything to do on Easter Sunday because their mommies and daddies were stuck in a false temple all day, naked and writhing around with their neighbors in Satanic orgies of the flesh. You see, parents had to come up with a way to occupy their children while they were away from home, praying and fornicating under the altar of Satan. And since they didn’t have babysitters back then, they gave their kids eggs to play with and sometimes paint.”

And if that doesn’t teach me not to click random links on the internet, nothing will. It should also teach us all not to obsess about other people’s sex lives. It never leads anywhere good.

In spite of my better instincts, I’ve got to give you a link. How else will you know this isn’t the product of my diseased mind instead of someone else’s?

I need to get that out of our minds, don’t I? So let’s talk about chocolate again. When I’ve posted about overpriced Easter eggs in the past, I’ve waited until a newspaper or two runs an article about the most outrageous ones, then I ride on their research. But this year I thought I’d run the post a bit early, so we’ll have to make do with what I can find online.

Why don’t I call a few fancy store and do my research the way genuine journalists do? Because that works better when you write for some real publication instead of having to say, “Hi, I’m a blogger no one ever heard of. What’s the most ridiculous thing you’re selling this season?” So the internet it was.

Harrod’s is a reliable source of overpriced goodies, so I checked their website and found that they’re “partnered” with “artist Camille Walala,” who turned out a limited edition of twelve eggs. They say the “eggs are highly-prized; a fitting marriage of an exciting London designer with our [ahem; due modesty here] world-famous store.”

In the department of expensive verbiage, they could have saved some money by deleting the first hyphen, since it’s wrong anyway. And while I’m at it, the semi-colon began life as a comma and should probably return to that happy state of being before it gets mistaken for something edible, although it’s still going to be a clunky sentence for reasons I’m not going to get into.

The website doesn’t mention how much the eggs cost. I think it’s one of those “if you have to ask you can’t afford it” things, but if you insist on knowing how much money it’s humanly possible to spend on chocolate, you can look elsewhere on the site and order an assortment of truffles for £350, even though the assortment’s not specific to Easter. There’s no mention of how much it weighs, but the verbiage is weighty if not creative. It includes perfect, special, abundance, luxurious, mouth-watering, bespoke, and exquisite. Which—I’m sorry to be critical—strikes me as a bit ho-hum for that sort of money.

It also says the selection will leave you wanting more. At £350 a box, that might not be a good thing, but I suppose it depends on how much cash you’ve dropped on the floor of the village shop. If they ever move the freezer, they should have enough to buy a couple of boxes. Given what I contributed, I’m owed a taste.