Surprise! Good or bad (easier that it will be bad and useless, if it is not a gift that someone made to you), the surprise in the Easter egg is a nice reason to give away a chocolate egg as a gift.
Yes, but why an “egg”?
An important symbol, a perfect shape that contains a new life.
Already in the ancient times the egg symbolized the rebirth of nature, the transition from winter to spring. With Christianity the egg becomes the symbol of the rebirth of Jesus.
Since the Middle Ages instead there was the custom, to give eggs at Easter, and to bring the eggs to the church to be blessed.
Hard-boiled eggs of hen (but also of quail and guinea fowl), absent for all Lent, finally reappeared on the table.
For the first chocolate eggs we have to wait that Luigi XIV who, at the beginning of the 18th century, commissioned to his court chocolatier to make a cocoa cream egg.
The precious Fabergé eggs were the first to contain the surprise, even if someone said that earlier, near Turin, there was the custom of inserting a small gift inside the chocolate eggs.
But for us Florentines (we boast of having done everything for “first”) the surprise inside the egg is irrelevant, the real surprise, the genius (what is called “the egg of Columbus”), is to keep the egg stand up. And, no, it was not Colombo who did it first, but “ours” Filippo Brunelleschi, architect, engineer and master in every form of art.
Vasari tells us the anecdote:
“To show how the dome could stand up, so took an egg, all the masters around tried to make it stand up, but no one succeeded. Finally was the turn of Filippo to show if he succeeded, he took the egg and gave it a shot on the ass on the marble top, and he was able to make it stand up”.
Finally, popular wisdom reminds us that “egg of one hour old, bread of one day, wine of one year old” (Italian Proverb from Aosta Valley region) are the best that can be had on the table during Easter and Easter Monday, and not only.