Two spring holidays that usually fall within days of each other are Easter and the Jewish Passover. As with almost all holidays, food is an important dimension of the festivities.
Easter highlights, courtesy of A.C. Nielsen:
1. America are buying over 120 million pounds, or $500 million, in candy this week.
2. 70% of the candy purchased is chocolate based, or approximately 71 million lbs.
3. That’s higher than the number for Valentine’s Day (48 million lbs.) but lower than Halloween’s tally (90 million lbs.)
4. Over 61 million eggs will be sold this week, 45% higher than on an average week.
5. On the Passover side, spending on unleavened matzo bread will reach $3.5 million dollars and $6.5 million on kosher passover wine (about 1.5 million bottles).
What you need to know:
The egg is a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in pre-Christian celebrations of spring. It was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the resurrection. The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs. In the early 19th century, egg shaped chocolates became all the rage in France and Germany, spreading to the rest of the world faster than a rabbit being chased by a hound.
The Passover matzoh is unleavend bread made from just flour and water. According to tradition, Jewish slaves, in their haste to flee ancient Egypt to freedom, did not have time to fully bake bread for the road. The matzo, unleavened flat bread, is what resulted.
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