Why we started eating chocolate easter eggs, plus a list of Culture Scouts favourite Sydney chocolate havens
Loosen your waist belts Sydney! It’s that time of year again. Easter has arrived and with it one of the few times of the year that chocolate-consumption becomes an internationally sanctioned sport. Chocolate eating at Easter is as ingrained in western traditional as gift giving at Christmas. Whether it’s delivered by a mythical bunny or somebody’s mum, there’s no shortage of chocolate in all shapes, sizes and flavours this year.
The symbolic Easter egg is connected to the Christian celebration of resurrection (spoiler alert: that Jesus came back from the dead). But it’s a little known fact that Easter eggs are to some extent an adaption of ancient pagan practices related to spring rites.
In Egyptian mythology, the phoenix burns its nest to be reborn later from the egg that is left; Hindu scriptures relate that the world developed from an egg. The earliest Easter eggs were actually hen or duck eggs decorated with charcoal and vegetable dye, which developed into cardboard, plush and satin covered eggs - neither of which sound particularly palatable.
Which leaves little doubt that we are currently living in the heyday of egg-eating tradition.
As seasoned chocolate eaters, we’ve come up with a list of our favourite chocolate havens that are turning up the goods this Easter. These chocolatiers are unique local businesses we frequent on our explorations of Sydney, or keep a keen eye on in our research, all of whom offer something a little different for the chocolate lovers out there.
Just William Chocolates - 4 William Street, Paddington, Sydney
Nestled just off the main drag in Paddington, Just William is a boutique chocolate shop crammed full of all the best sourced and in-house handmade chocolates you could hope to get your hands on. It’s been on the map since 1984 when it was opened by chocolatier Suzanne Frances. Now run by her daughter Olivia, Just William has reached legendary status for it’s customised, seasonal packaging.
They consistently source stunning gift boxes, ribbons and ties to reflect the changing design trends in fashion and furnishings. Drop in to say hello to Olivia, and try some of her current favourites including the almond rocher, hazelnut biscotti or the popular salted caramels.
If you’re the kind of person who quantifies your chocolate intake by the amount of sprints you’ll have to do to work it off, then Loco Love is your pick this Easter. Handcrafted from superfoods, tonic herbs and healing spices, it is chocolate that not only tastes good, but gives your insides the luxury spa retreat it needs.
All Loco Love chocolates are vegan, gluten, soy & refined sugar and guilt-complex free. We’ve always wanted chocolate to be good for us, and now there is finally a way. To make it even better, they give back to our world too. For every chocolate purchased Loco Love provide one days worth of life saving water to children in Ethiopia. You can find Loco Love at various stockists across Sydney. Try founder Emica’s current favourite, the new Butter Caramel Pecan.
Adora Handmade Chocolates - Shop 2/325 King St - Newtown, Sydney
Adora is a story of two sisters who are passionate about good chocolate and good nutrition. In 1993 they founded Adora, working part time from home to produce chocolates that are preservative and artificial colour free.
They’re well known for packing a bouquet of natural flavours into their hand rolled truffles, ingredients such as Belgian Callebaut chocolate, cream cultured butter, raspberry, lime, passionfruit, mango, freshly brewed espresso coffee and wattleseed as well as the more traditional pralines, ganache and marzipans.
All flavors are real, and made with passion from their kitchen in Roseberry. You can now find them in Newtown, Sydney CBD and Parramatta. Drop in to try founder Tina’s current favourites, the hazelnut kiss or florentines made with dark chocolate.
Gelato Messina - 241 Victoria Road - Darlinghurst, Sydney
If you haven’t heard of Gelato Messina then you’re not doing Sydney properly. Having won awards internationally for their naturally made and impossibly soft Sicilian gelato, and with lines down the street of their stores on any given night, they are quite literally the superstars of the ice cream world. So it’s not surprising that the chocolate presence in Messina is a force to be reckoned with too.
All chocolate in the gelato flavours is made in-house by the chocolate making team in Roseberry. In fact, every flavour is made from scratch from raw and natural ingredients. Messina are famous for their wacky weekly special flavours, and this Easter they’re not holding back.
Check out their Instagram account for the mind-bending flavours and bizarre Easter Egg interpretations on offer.