I love eggs. I think they’re delicious and would like to take the opportunity to thank whichever early human first had the thought to eat that funny-looking thing it found in a nest somewhere. I have had the incredible luck of having farm fresh, free-range, vegetarian feed eggs delivered to my door ever since I arrived in Germany. My neighbor’s brother-in-law has an egg farm and happily shares his personal stash with his family and their neighbors (and the random American living with their neighbors) for 10 cents per egg. This is one of the more heavenly aspects of my life here.
Apropos heaven and eggs, Easter is approaching, and with it, eggs in various forms in the grocery store. Here are a few I’ve tried:
Number one in the egg-shaped candy department is the famous Kinder Überraschung (Kinder Surprise) from the German chocolate company, Kinder. I don’t think there’s a single person who spends any time in Europe without coming home and extolling the praises of the Kinder egg. This is a hollow egg made of milk chocolate. When you crack it open, you find not only the white-chocolate lining, but also a yellow capsule, which contains a toy. It’s like a tiny, less-caloric Happy Meal. The toys vary from figurines to functional machines. I got a skunk figurine this time around, but my niece got a snap-together Spirograph-type frame and wheel in the one I brought her for Christmas. These are fun gifts, but heads up: every single toy I have ever seen come out of a Kinder egg represents a choking hazard for little ones.
The second delicious egg product available for Easter is the Milka Löffel Ei. Milka produces a really good bar of chocolate, and the company’s bright purple packaging is a ubiquitous sight in Germany. The Löffel Ei (spoon egg) is one of Milka’s Easter offerings. It is a milk chocolate egg filled with either milk crème or chocolate crème. They come in fours in a Milka-purple egg carton, and, because this is Germany, there are eating instructions. First, crack open the top like a soft-boiled egg. Second, scoop out the cream and eat it. Finally, eat the chocolate shell. The eggs come with two spoons, suggesting that one should share the carton, but there has to be some upside to not living with my husband.
The third egg product available everywhere is the humble hard-boiled egg. They are available already dyed and in cartons on grocery store shelves. I actually got a promotional Easter egg from a gym who was trying to drum up business. Wild! Don’t be freaked out about buying eggs of the shelf in Germany. First of all, these are cooked, so it’s no problem. Second, I hear that the regulations regarding commercial egg production are a bit stricter here than in the US. The maximum number of chickens allowed within a certain space is lower, which greatly reduces the risk of infection and disease. You won’t get sick eating an egg kept on a shelf at room temperature here. Still, take note: the eggs are hard-boiled, but not as cooked as most Americans are used to. The yolk will be solid, but still bright yellow and sort of gummy. It is completely edible, but not my favorite texture.