Happy Easter bunnies from Switzerland

April 4, 2010, 5 Comments

All across Switzerland at this moment, there are thousands of bunnies lying beheaded on tables and floors. Of course, I mean bunnies of the chocolate variety. For the last few weeks Swiss supermarkets have been full of marshalled rows of bunnies. Because Easter in Switzerland is all about the rabbits.

Instead of having a hollow chocolate egg, encased in a plastic shell and cardboard box, the Swiss celebrate Easter with a chocolate rabbit, or Osterhase. Not only are they more attractive than those uniform ovular shapes, but without all that packaging waiting to be thrown away, they are surely more ecological too. Just some cellophane wrapping, or if they are lucky enough to be a Lindt bunny, gold foil. They may look like golden stormtroopers, waiting to invade some other bunny land, but they are kind of cute with it. And delicious.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Easter without eggs, even in Switzerland. Swiss Easter eggs come in three varieties: small, filled and foil-wrapped, or half a shell filled with luxury pralines. And the third? Well, they’re real eggs, sold cooked and coloured. A rainbow display of boiled eggs, sold by the half-dozen or in pick-and-mix selections. Apparently, violet is the most popular colour.

In some ways Easter is a big deal in Switzerland. Almost everyone seems to make or give an Easter nest – a small basket filled with straw and little eggs – and many a house or garden is decorated with an Easter tree. That’s not a poorer cousin of a Christmas tree, just a more delicate and less gaudy version. Think budding spring branches playing host to painted eggs and little bunnies. And almost every shop window has an Easter display of some sort: a traditional Bern favourite is the one in Loeb department store, where the long expanse of window is turned into a temporary home for some rabbits, real ones.

As for those golden ones, the big question is – do you eat the head first or last?

5 Comments on "Happy Easter bunnies from Switzerland"

  1. pfirpfel Tuesday June 1st, 2010 at 08:00 PM · Reply

    As for the Lindth ones, I always start with the ears. The big ones get violently crushed while they’re still in the closed wrapping to create smaller pieces which are easier to eat.

    • swisswatching Tuesday June 1st, 2010 at 08:38 PM · Reply

      Violently crushed? How sadistic. Surely the greatest pleasure is nibbling around the ears first? Or maybe I’m not thinking of bunnies at all!

  2. A. Strebel Sunday March 27th, 2016 at 11:29 AM · Reply

    The golden bunnies have nothing to do with Switzerland, just the name and the brand! They are made in Aachen, Germany. I love easter bunnies, but definetly not the golden ones.

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