Being Jewish, there's not much about Easter that ever particularly appealed to me. Eggs hunts? Why can't we just play in the sun? Fake plastic grass? What's the point? The Easter Bunny? This has never been satisfactorily explained to me. But there is one part of Easter that I cannot deny carries appeal. Not just appeal, but that sort of giddy excitement usually reserved for the first snow-day of the year, picking out Halloween costumes, and birthdays.
I'm talking about Cadbury Creme Eggs.
Oh, those amazing confections. The soft, creamy chocolate shell. The whimsically egg-like insides. The sweet, sweet nectar of the filling.
As a child, there was no time that I longed to NOT be Jewish like Easter. If only for the delicious, delightful, decadent Cadbury Creme Eggs.
Each time they appeared in the stores, I would lose my head. "They're here! The eggs are here!" And I would stand, frozen, before the displays of their majesty.
Of course, they were EXPENSIVE as far as one-shot sugar explosions go. So their simple availability didn't guarantee that I'd get even one a year. Imagine, as a child, seeing those eggs on the shelf and thinking to yourself, "WE'RE ALMOST OUT OF TIME! SOON THE EGGS WILL ALL BE GONE!" It was harrowing.
My mother understood the appeal of the eggs. The day after Easter was an occasion. The day after Easter, the Cadbury Creme Eggs go on sale. So frequently, the day after Easter was the day that I got to eat an ovoid capsule of creamy dreaminess.
There is a ritual in eating a Cadbury Creme Egg. You can't just gobble it all up. No, far too precious. A Cadbury Creme Egg requires time and attention. And ever so much care. So here, without further ado, is the method by which I recall the childhood enjoyment of consuming a Cadbury Creme Egg reaching its pinnacle.
First, you peel away the top of the wrapper, but not the whole thing. You don't want to actually touch the chocolate with your tiny, grubby little fingers. No, that's a recipe for disaster. Your warm, eager hands will melt the chocolate, waste it. You might melt through that fragile chocolate shell and spill its ooey gooey contents all over the place. And then that would be it. The end. Until maybe next year. No. You only partially unwrap the egg, carefully exposing the tiniest portion of the crest of the chocolate coating. You use only the tips of your fingers to support the egg, gently supporting its gigantic psychological bulk with every fingertip you have.
Now comes a delicate operation. You nibble, ever so gently, at this exposed bit of chocolate. You savor the unique creaminess of Cadbury's Dairy Milk, so unlike our American Hershey's milk chocolate. You close your eyes, roll the rapidly dissolving chocolate around on your tongue. You breathe slowly, filling your nostrils with the aroma of chocolate.
As your heart rate quickens, your tongue finally breaks through the barrier- that solid, creamy perfection of all confections. You don't taste the creme immediately, holding the egg upright allows the contents to settle towards the bottom. This leads to a moment of panic.
Once in a while, the egg is damaged. This damage EXPOSES the magical creme, and it dries up before it can be properly consumed. This is a disaster. A catastrophe. One of the worst things that can possibly happen to you in your entire life. Because it will be a whole year before you even get another opportunity for an egg, let alone the egg itself. There is no sight sadder than the crustified contents of a Cadbury Creme Egg.
But not this time. This time, the egg is perfect. Its contents liquid, viscous and shiny. Reflecting the hungry, desperate gleam in your eye.
Ever so delicately, you extend the tip of your tongue, and dip it into the eggy contents. You must try not to moan aloud, or your mother might take the egg away. But this is a sacred moment. The gloop begins to coat the inside of your mouth, and a sharp intake of breath causes a burst of sugar to burn the back of your throat.
This is the sacrifice you must make to the Cadbury Gods. This sugar burn. It hurts, but it's good. and now that the moment has passed, the consumption of your egg can continue.
You slowly lap up the creme inside, until your tiny tongue can no longer reach. The nibbling of the chocolate recommences. Again, you must be desperately careful. If you nibble to quickly, you'll crack the egg. So tiny, tiny bites- only scrape away at the chocolate with your teeth. Only peel away as much foil as you must. Gently juggle the egg, don't allow your greasy fingers to let go, even for a moment. The foil between your hands is slippery with your sweat, but there is not putting the egg down once the process has begun. Not even on the Equinox can you balance a Cadbury Creme Egg on its end.
As you work your way down into the belly of the egg, the sides open up for you. A veritable ocean of Cadbury Creme shows itself, and there- suddenly, is the yolk. That peek of yellow, that incomprehensible smear surrounded by white. How does it remain? How does it stay apart and intact? You may never know. You carefully lick out the yolk, made even sweeter through the alchemical process of desire and amazement.
Soon your tongue begins to scrape the bottom of the shell. The cream is nearly gone, and you are left with a concave, and somehow heavy, disc of Dairy Milk chocolate. Victory is yours! "Hallelujah!" you cry, and as you finally discard the colored foil wrappings, you pop this disc, roughly the size of a nickel, whole into your mouth.
It is somehow imbued with the flavor of the creme. It is somehow hard and still soft, mystically difficult to chew. Again, the sugar burns your throat. This time you breathe into it, relishing the last, perfect bite of Cadbury Creme Egg for the year. Letting it fill every inch of your psyche and soul.
And then, with a sigh, it's over. You return to your activities, but the rest of the day has a bit of a glow about it. A touch of magic.
Because today was the day that you had your egg.