When wandering the aisles of Target, debating the various merits of the best Easter candy, one might find themselves pondering the tradition of the Easter bunny — a ritual in which a large rabbit delivers a miniature chocolate version of itself in a pastel basket so that small children may later gnaw its head off. And one might (fairly) assume the idea was dreamt up by someone dabbling in hallucinogenics.
But no. According to Time, the Easter bunny is just a sweet folkloric tradition brought to the States in the early 1700s by German immigrants. Back then, children crafted small nests in which this mutant bunny creature could lay colored eggs into. In later years, the nests became baskets, and the eggs became Cadbury. And now, after centuries of American progress, one can purchase terrifying, inflatable bunny chickens for their green spring lawns.
Every year, Big Candy tries to come up with some ingenious new twist on sweets to stuff in your child's basket. (I'm looking at you, Pastel Candy Corn.) But really, when one hears "Easter candy," there are just a handful of classics that come to mind. Which I have ranked here in a helpful, completely subjective list.
1. Solid Milk Chocolate Foil-Wrapped Eggs
These little beauties are simple, elegant, and timeless — the Chanel of Easter candy, if you will. Plus there's the added Easter surprise of later finding them melted on my hair brush after I throw a few in my purse to enjoy later.
While we're talking chocolate ovum... are you aware that in the UK they forgo chocolate bunnies, and instead exchange enormous chocolate eggs? If you are lucky enough to have a foreigner for a husband, he will insist you go get one of these mammoth eggs every year from a specialty shop, and you will have the pleasure of spending around $35 on a single piece of imported Easter candy. Congratulations.
2. Reese’s Egg
The Reese's Egg is somehow so much more delicious than a regular Reeses Cup. And a Reese's Egg that's been in the freezer is but a chocolate-peanut butter dream that was forged in the heavens by the gods themselves.
I would give this candy top ranking, were it not for my nephew's peanut allergy. The fact that I can only enjoy it if I first hide it under my shirt, lock myself in the bathroom, and then scrub my mouth and hands afterward a la Silkwood is the only thing keeping it out of the number one slot.
3. Chocolate Bunnies
Some prefer the solid option, but me, I like a hollow bunny whose head I can crush in my jaws like a timber wolf. There's just something incredibly pleasing about it.
And if one really wants to wow/sicken their child, why not pick up this 4-pound, $180 dollar version featuring an overall-clad rabbit sitting upon a stump, holding a basket of eggs aloft, as if begging for mercy?
I fully support any food product that can be used as a central character in a extravagant diorama. If you haven't ever viewed the Women's March or the O.J Simpson trial recreated entirely from marshmallow birds, I don't know that you can call yourself fully alive.
In terms of the Peep as an actual candy to be consumed, I rank it a 3.5 on the Pepto scale. Meaning that is the most Peep a typical human adult can consume before clutching their sides and going, "Why the hell did I just eat that?"
5. Jelly Beans
Confession — I tried jelly beans for the first time ever last year. And I am someone old enough to use a retinol-grade skin cream. Why did it take so long, you ask? Am I from outer space? Do I lack the back molars necessary for masticating thick, gel-like interiors?
Truly, I think it was the mere combination of the words "jelly" and "bean" that put me off. They just sounded... gross. But I did finally steal some from my child's basket during a hungry moment in the airport last year, and I found them to be... fine. Sugary and fine. Though I do believe in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness he proclaims black jelly beans to be proof of the existence of evil.
6. Cadbury Creme Eggs
I know there are many who rejoice when these foil-encased balls of goo make their grand return to CVS. Personally, I've always found their innards far too sweet and far too mucus-like. But for those who want to feel as if they're consuming small alien pods in the name of Easter tidings, this is definitely the way to go.