Why Do We Eat Chocolate Bunnies at Easter?

Why Do We Eat Chocolate Bunnies at Easter?

IMAGE CREDIT: ISTOCK
As far as holidays go, Easter is second only to Halloween in American candy sales—that’s a lot of chocolate bunnies.   Easter—the most spiritually significant holiday of the Christian calendar—has always been heavily associated with symbolic foods, from lambs to egg-rich celebratory breads. Rabbits, however, are not mentioned in the scriptures that recount Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. And chocolate, a New World food, was not even accessible to the masses until the mid-1800s. So how did chocolate bunnies come to dominate the Easter basket scene? It’s a thoroughly modern mash-up of commerce, confectionery, and immigration.  
Ostara, the Germanic pre-Christian fertility goddess, apparently kept a hare as a sidekick. The word for “Easter” (Ostern, in German) is derived from her name, and her namesake festival was held around the month we now call April. Germans came to embrace the fictional character Oschter Haws (or osterhause), a rabbit who delivered eggs to children at Easter. Supposedly, the first recorded mention of osterhause was in the medical notes of a Heidelberg physician in 1684 (he discusses the drawbacks of overeating Easter eggs).   The Easter Bunny Museum in the now-defunct Center for Unusual Museums in Munich showcased examples of 19th century Easter rabbits made of cardboard, wood, or fabric, and some had removable heads to allow for hiding candy inside (these would be the forerunners to chocolate bunnies).   At the same time, the middle classes of the Western word began enjoying the chocolaty fruits of progress. “The Industrial Revolution changed chocolate from a costly drink to a cheap solid food,” write historians Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe in The True History of Chocolate. The craft of making the smooth-textured solid chocolate we’re familiar with today requires many steps, and those were not possible without mechanization; the first eating (as opposed to drinking) chocolates appeared in Europe in the mid-1800s.   As eating chocolate became more accessible, Germany rose as a center of molds. Anton Reiche of Dresden, one of the best-known manufacturers, created all sorts of highly detailed tinplate molds for chocolate, and not just in the form of rabbits.   Our friend the chocolate bunny had yet to cross the Atlantic, though. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America says that “the Pennsylvania Dutch imported the Oschter Haws, or Easter Hare, who delivered colored eggs to good children.” One of the better-known early sightings of chocolate rabbits in America was in 1890, when Pennsylvania shopkeeper Robert L. Strohecker featured a five-foot chocolate rabbit in his drugstore to attract business at Easter. This became a thing: A 1927 photograph captured two young boys flanking a mighty 75-pound chocolate rabbit in front of Florian’s Pharmacy in St. Paul, Minnesota (the owner happened to be the son of German immigrants). And after that long journey, chocolate rabbits of more manageable proportions eventually became an Easter staple. Information shared by http://mentalfloss.com/     Ashley’s offers an excellent selection of chocolates and candies for all holidays and is sure to please even the most discerning recipient. We carry only the highest-quality products to ensure an exceptional holiday experience for all, and our many choices provide something for everyone, no matter the time of year. Visit our current holiday page for our most festive and up-to-date selections, or call us to personalize a treat for your holiday celebration.   We all love a holiday celebrated with candy and sweets, and at Ashley’s, we do Easter like nothing you’ve seen before. We offer all of the Easter candy favorites you’re looking for to fill your baskets with one-of-a-kind goodies.

20 Health Benefits Of Chocolate

20 Health Benefits Of Chocolate

Robert Locke Freelance writer 18boxed_chocolateczbaggedchocolates_colribbns Chocolate is regarded as an indulgent treat because it is mainly associated with weight gain and acne. Americans spend $10 billion annually on chocolaty treats. It is not all bad news as countless studies show dark chocolate has many health benefits. Here are 20 you may not know about and which will help you to indulge in it with less guilt. In moderation of course – I mean, the guilt! 1. It can help your heart to stay healthy Lots of studies reveal that the flavonoids in chocolate can help your veins and arteries to stay supple. Over 7 studies followed 114,000 participants who were given a few servings of dark chocolate a week. The results showed that their risk of getting a heart attack was reduced by about 37% while the chances of getting a stroke were 29% less when they had a higher consumption of chocolate. 2. It may help improve your memory as you get older Research has shown that when elderly people were given specially prepared cocoa extracts which was high in flavanols, their cognitive function greatly improved. The only problem is that when it comes to eating chocolate, the percentage of those cocoa flavanols is much reduced due to the processing and the addition of eggs, sugar and milk. 3. It can help to avoid sunburn One study conducted in London found that women who were given chocolate with a high flavanol content were able to withstand double the amount of UV light on their skins without burning, compared to those on lower doses. 4. It may make you better at math I was never good at math at school. Maybe I should have eaten more dark chocolate! This is the startling conclusion I have reached after reading about the research of Professor David Kennedy who is Director of Brain, Performance and Nutrition at the Research Center of Northumbria University (UK). Participants were given 500 mg of flavanols in a hot cocoa drink. They benefited from increased flow to the brain as a result and were better at coping with difficult math equations. 5. It may put you in a better mood I wish my uncle had given my aunt some chocolate when he told her to stop crying and to ‘cheer up.’ He obviously had not read about the work at the University of Swinburne in Australia. These guys again targeted the cocoa polyphenols and they found that it had a beneficial effect on the mood of the participants who were calmer and happier. 6. It may help lower cholesterol levels The Journal of Nutrition carries an interesting article about the results of a study done to determine whether dark chocolate could have any effect on the LDL cholesterol levels. They found that when subjects were given bars of dark chocolate with plant sterols and flavanols, they were getting lower scores on their cholesterol levels. 7. It may help people with Alzheimer’s disease As we know, the nerve pathways to the brain get damaged when Alzheimer’s disease strikes, causing severe loss in certain mental functions. It is fascinating to read about how one extract from cocoa, called lavado, can actually reduce the damage done to these vital pathways. 8. It can help you with your workout Another magical flavanol in chocolate is epicatechin. Mice were given this substance and they were much fitter and stronger than those mice on water only. Researchers say that to get the best results from your workout you have to limit the amount to only about half of one square of chocolate a day! If you have too much, it could undo the beneficial effects. 9. It is very nutritious Did you know that if choose chocolate with a high cocoa content (75% to 85%) you are getting a very nutritious snack? Take the typical 100 gram chocolate bar. It has almost all of your RDA for copper and manganese. It contains over half your magnesium RDA and about two thirds (67%) of your RDA for iron. It also has about 10% of fiber. There is also lots of zinc, selenium and potassium too. 10. It can help to lower your blood pressure You may not know it but having the right amount of NO (Nitric Oxide) in your body can help your arteries to relax. That will, in turn help to take some of the pressure off them and the result is a lower BP count. Just another benefit of the dark chocolate flavanols which help to produce this vital Nitric Oxide. 11. It helps you produce more endorphins When you are on a high, it may be due to excitement, love or after exercise. This high is due to the release of endorphins which are brain hormones. The great advantage of chocolate is that flavanols can also help in endorphin production without having to run a marathon! Endorphins play a key role in helping to prevent depression and other mental disorders. 12. It may reduce pregnancy complications One of the complications of pregnancy is known as preeclampsia in which blood pressure can shoot up. Researchers have established that one of the chemicals in dark chocolate, theobromine, can stimulate the heart and help the arteries dilate. When pregnant women were given higher doses of chocolate, they had a 40% less chance of developing this complication. 13. It may help with diabetes You probably think that chocolate is too sweet for diabetics and is one of their banned treats, but one small study at the University of L’Aquila in Italy found that the right does of chocolate flavonoids can help the body’s metabolism and enhance insulin function. This could benefit people with diabetes but more studies need to be done. 14. It may help you reduce your food cravings You know the feeling: you cannot function until you have a snack. One of the healthiest is a piece of dark chocolate because it fills you up quicker and reduces craving for salty and sweet snacks, according to a small research study. 15. It may help your cough Another marvelous effect of the theobromine chemical in chocolate is that it can calm a troublesome cough. Manufacturers are looking at this to produce safer cough syrups instead of using codeine which has some undesirable side effects. 16. It may help with blood circulation Normally you take an aspirin to help prevent blood clotting and to improve circulation. Studies now show that chocolate can have a similar effect. 17. It can also help you see better University of Reading researchers were curious to see if dark chocolate flavanols could actually improve vision as they knew it certainly improved blood circulation in general. They decided to do a small experiment and gave two groups of volunteers some white and dark chocolate. The dark chocolate groups were doing better on vision tests afterwards. 18. It may help reduce fatigue If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome you should try adding chocolate to your daily diet. One group of sufferers were given a daily dose of chocolate for two months. They were less tired and the best news of all is that they did not put on any extra weight. 19. It may help to lower your Body Mass Index There has been a lot of emphasis on how chocolate can actually reduce your BMI (Body Mass Index) which is how you measure up as regards your height versus your weight. One study took 1,000 Californians and they found that those who ate chocolate more often during the week had a lower BMI. Overall diet and exercise regimes were not factors which influenced this result. 20. It may help reduce your chances of getting cancer As we have mentioned, the cocoa flavanols in dark chocolate have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These are important in keeping the actions of free radicals at bay. As we know, these are the protagonists when cancer starts to invade cells. ENDORSED BY Chloe Chong Editor at Lifehack, Social Media Expert, Health Nut

Jelly Belly

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Jelly Belly

Jelly Bellies are sold by the pound and we offer them in ½ lb increments at $5.99 per 1/2 lb. One bag can hold up to approximately 2 pounds – or you can get as many flavors you want in ½ lb increments.   #1 – Click to Purchase (next to item below) #2 – Select your flavors and quantities #3 –If your order summary looks accurate – click “Add to Cart”   *Note for all shipments – You must have a minimum purchase of $10.00 or more before tax. View the shopping cart by clicking the cart image on the right side of the screen at any time

49 Flavor Assortment

We collected our official flavors and stirred them up for the ultimate Jelly Belly assortment. Only one flavor is left out: Chili Mango. It’s just a little too hot to be eaten randomly.

A & W Rootbeer

Nothing is better than a cold glass of root beer. Jelly Belly has teamed with A & W to bring you the all of your favorite root beer flavor taste in a bean. We use actual A & W syrup in our true to life beans, Grab a handful and enjoy!

Berry Blue

Nothing is nicer than a crystal clear blue sky. Our Berry Blue jelly beans capture this wonderful color and deliver just as refreshing of a taste. Keep a few on hand for when your skies turn gray.

Birthday Car Remix

Part of the Cold Stone® Ice Cream Parlor Mix, Birthday Cake Remix™ combines the flavors of Cake Batter™ ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, brownie and fudge.

Blueberry

Made with blueberry juice from puree, our Blueberries are sure to please. Created to put the “blue” in the Red, White and Blue of a Presidential Inauguration, our Blueberry beans give you all of the fruit flavor without the risk of staining your favorite shirt.

Bubble Gum

Ever get bubble gum stuck on your shoe? With our Bubble Gum jelly beans, you get all of the flavor without the sticky mess! The flavor will lingers throughout your chewing experience.

Buttered Popcorn

Competing for the title of most popular flavor year after year, our Buttered Popcorn is sure to keep popping into your mouth! Even the late Orville was a fan! Makes a perfect snack for movie time or any time.

Citrus Mix

True-to-life citrus flavors, and Vitamin C too!

Coconut

No need to crack open a coconut to get to the sweet center. Coconut jelly beans bring you all the flavor of the real thing, without the hard shell. We use real coconut flakes to bring this tropical treat to life. Grab a handful and be swept away to a faraway island.

Cotton Candy

No fun filled day at an amusement park would be complete without cotton candy. Luck for you, we have turned Cotton Candy into a gourmet jelly bean! Bring back those carefree days when you eat a few of these pink beans.

Dr. Pepper

The secret syrup in the soda pop flavors this hit that went to the top of the bean chart. The response was so rapturous that it has secured a place in the pantheon of all time great jelly beans.

Draft Beer

We have taken your favorite draft beer and turned it into a gourmet jelly bean! Enjoy the authentic taste of a freshly poured draft beer without the alcohol. This fun jelly bean is completed with a jewel-like finish for a fresh from the tap “bubbly” look.

Fruit Bowl Flavors

Fruit lovers rejoice! This whimsical collection is sure to please with an assortment of our most popular fruit flavors. This is a selection bound to please the eyes as well as the taste buds!

Green Apple

Jelly Belly Green Apple jelly beans in bulk. Sweet, fruity flavor! Made with real apple juice. Perfect for events like weddings!

Ice Cream Parlor Mix – Cold Stone

The Cold Stone® Ice Cream Parlor Mix® contains five delicious flavors inspired by Cold Stone Creamery® treats.

Island Punch

In need of a tropical getaway? Then grab some Island Punch jelly beans and be whisked away! Bursting with sweet tropical flavor, this bean is sure to relax you almost as much as your own private beach in the Pacific.

Jewel Collection – 8 flavor varieties

Jelly Belly is proud to present a shimmering collection of jelly beans. Our new Jewel Collection features eight of our most popular flavors dressed up with a beautiful edible pearlescent finish adding a shimmer of brilliance to each bean. These glamorous jelly beans make a stylish gift or great addition to party favors and candy buffets.

Juicy Pear

Jelly Belly Juicy Pear jelly beans in bulk. Sweet, fruity flavor! Made with real pear juice from concentrate. Perfect for events like weddings!

Kids Mix

Get the 20 Jelly Belly flavors kids love best in one bag! Kids will flip for it!

Lemon

Jelly Belly Lemon Drop jelly beans in bulk. Sweet, realistic flavor! Perfect for events like weddings!

Lemon Lime

Jelly Belly Lemon Lime jelly beans in bulk. Sweet, fruity flavor! Perfect for events like weddings!

Margarita

A happy hour favorite, we have captured the spirit of sharing a margarita with friends (minus the spirits) in a bean. This alcohol-free jelly bean is sure to be a hit on Taco Tuesday or any other day (or night) of the week.

Pina Colada

If you like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain, then you will love our Piña Colada flavored jelly beans. They contain real coconut, but are alcohol free. Sit back, relax and enjoy this tropical treat with friends.

Pomegranite

Fans have been asking for it for years, and it’s finally here. Real pomegranate juice makes Pomegranate just as juicy and delicious as the beloved fruit itself. Best of all, Pomegranate is the first ever Jelly Belly jelly bean to be fortified with Vitamin C and antioxidants. One taste and you’ll think you pulled it from a tree.

Rasberry

Save your fingers and arms from the thorns of a raspberry bush and try our easy to pick Raspberry jelly beans! We add real raspberry juice puree to our beans to insure that true to life flavor. You cannot get any more real than these!

Sizzling Cimmamon

If you like your cinnamon with a little something extra, you are sure to love our Sizzling Cinnamon jelly beans. We have taken our cinnamon beans and added a little kick for true heat lovers.

Sour Mix

Your favorite Sour jelly beans.

Tangerine

Need a little citrus pick me up? Try our Sunkist® Tangerine jelly beans! Our candy makers use real tangerine juice from concentrate to give these beans that fresh from the orchard taste all while providing 25% of your daily Vitamin C per serving.

Toasted Marshmallow

Summer campfires mean two things: mosquitoes and toasting marshmallows! We have brought the best part of camping home to help you keep away from the pesky mosquitoes. Just one taste of our Toasted Marshmallow jelly beans and you will be singing your favorite camp songs in no time.

Top Banana

We have taken banana jelly beans to the next level. We use real banana puree to create a bean that is a swinging from the trees good time to eat (without the peel to slip on).

Tropical Mix

Whisk yourself away to a tropical paradise with the Jelly Belly Tropical Mix. Our tropical mix includes 15 of our most exotic flavors, including Pina Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri, Island Punch, and Coconut.

Tutti Fruiti

Like a beautiful peacock spreading its magnificent colorful feathers, our Jelly Belly beans are something to behold. Tutti-Fruiti is no exception. A kid favorite, these beans are sure to be a big hit at any birthday party.

Watermelon

What is the best part of summer? Biting into a juicy watermelon at a picnic! Just like the real melon, our beans have a green shell, a red center and are infused with watermelon juice. Just one bite and you will know why this bean is a fan favorite. Ashley’s delivers quality chocolates and truffles. Perfect for a holiday gift or gift for Easter. Indulge yourself or buy as a gift. Order Online or Stop-on-by for hand-dipped chocolates and delectable candies. Creamy ice-cream also available in store.

Neon Sour Worms

Gummy Bears

Gummies and licorice
Ashley’s gummies and licorice have been created to produce the finest quality products to ensure a soft, chewy, and delicious experience while savoring our candies. We feature all of the classic favorites and the most popular brands of today to make sure everyone is satisfied with our offering. Ashley’s delivers quality chocolates and truffles. Perfect for a holiday gift or gift for Easter. Indulge yourself or buy as a gift. Order Online or Stop-on-by for hand-dipped chocolates and delectable candies. Creamy ice-cream also available in store.
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Gummies
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Fairy Food

This Old World treat has a delicate, airy, explosive crunch that is sure to satisfy even the most discriminate sweet tooth. Send a box to a loved one and be sure to keep a box just for your enjoyment.

Truffles

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5_truffles_box Ashley’s Confectionery offers only the finest Truffles made with the highest quality ingredients to ensure a premium taste. Ashley’s delivers quality chocolates and truffles. Perfect for a holiday gift or gift for Easter. Indulge yourself or buy as a gift. Order Online or Stop-on-by for hand-dipped chocolates and delectable candies. Creamy ice-cream also available in store. How to keep your truffles fresh… Truffles should be stored in a cool, dry place – away from the sun and odors. Because the environment effects the shelf-life of truffles, it’s important to maintain a consistent temperature of 68˚ (or so) with a relative humidity of 55%. This combination will help ensure six months of fresh, flavorful truffles. Also, placing the truffles in an airtight container and freezing them will keep them fresh. However, when it is time to take them out of the freezer, let the truffles reach room temperature in the sealed container – otherwise, they will bloom or perspire. Always enjoy truffles at room temperature, to savor their richness. Buy Now
Truffles
milk & dark chocolate amaretto milk or dark chocolate amaretto milk & dark chocolate caramel milk or dark chocolate caramel milk & dark chocolate champagne milk or dark chocolate champagne milk, dark & white chocolate milk, dark or white chocolate milk & dark chocolate irish créme milk or dark chocolate irish créme

milk & dark chocolate mint milk or dark chocolate mint milk & dark chocolate orange milk or dark chocolate orange milk & dark chocolate raspberry milk or dark chocolate raspberry milk & dark chocolate rum milk or dark chocolate rum milk, dark or white chocolate tiramisu
Download Ashley’s Confectionery on-line catalog. To place an order call 262-375-8665 or email Ashley at ashley@chocolatesbyashley.com.

Fudge by Ashley’s – Ready to be delivered for Easter

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Ashley’s homemade fudge is soft, creamy, and the prefect amount of sweet. The highest quality ingredients are used to produce the ideal blend in our copper kettle resulting in 10 irresistible flavors that are sure to satisfy anyone’s craving.**Sold in 1/4, 1/2 or 1 pound boxes.How to keep your truffles fresh… Truffles should be stored in a cool, dry place – away from the sun and odors. Because the environment effects the shelf-life of truffles, it’s important to maintain a consistent temperature of 68˚ (or so) with a relative humidity of 55%. This combination will help ensure six months of fresh, flavorful truffles. Also, placing the truffles in an airtight container and freezing them will keep them fresh. However, when it is time to take them out of the freezer, let the truffles reach room temperature in the sealed container – otherwise, they will bloom or perspire.Always enjoy truffles at room temperature, to savor their richness. Buy Now
Truffles
milk & dark chocolate amaretto milk or dark chocolate amaretto milk & dark chocolate caramel milk or dark chocolate caramel milk & dark chocolate champagne milk or dark chocolate champagne milk, dark & white chocolate milk, dark or white chocolate milk & dark chocolate irish créme milk or dark chocolate irish créme

milk & dark chocolate mint milk or dark chocolate mint milk & dark chocolate orange milk or dark chocolate orange milk & dark chocolate raspberry milk or dark chocolate raspberry milk & dark chocolate rum milk or dark chocolate rum milk, dark or white chocolate tiramisu
Download Ashley’s Confectionery on-line catalog. To place an order call 262-375-8665 or email Ashley at ashley@chocolatesbyashley.com.