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Chocolate Bunnies, History Of
The very first written record of any kind of egg-laying bunny comes from the 1600s, in Germany.The Oschter Haws (Easter Hare) brought coloured eggs as gifts for children. In later versions of the story, she hides the eggs in the garden for children to find. Yes, she.The Oschter Haws was decidedly a female hare. Hares have never been domesticated (unlike rabbits) but they are closely related to rabbits. So how did the Oschter Haws become the Easter Bunny, which most people identify as a male rabbit? In the 1700s, German immigrants (later called the Pennsylvania Dutch) brought the Oschter Haws to the Eastern United States—along with an established tradition of chocolate. There’s no record of who invented the chocolate Easter bunny but chances are good it was someone of German descent. Tins for chocolate moulds that date back to 1890 have been found in Munich, Germany. Meanwhile circa 1890 in Pennsylvania, drugstore owner Robert L. Strohecker crafted a 1.5 meter (5’) chocolate rabbit as a way to advertise Easter. And that's all it took. By 1925, chocolate bunnies had, ahem, multiplied in popularity. Some even had accessories like bowties or hats, which gave them a gentlemanly vibe. We dug through the Purdys archives and found a fabulous photo (dating circa 1980s) of chocolate bunnies on display at our Kingsway Factory Kitchen in Vancouver, Canada, which is where we still craft all of our chocolates.The largest bunny on the right is Charles, our 12 kilogram bunny named in honour of Charles Flavelle, then-owner of Purdys Chocolatier. You can still buy Charles today in select Purdys shops (look for him in the display window, you can’t miss him!).And did you know that a group of bunnies is called a fluffle?We have a whole fluffle of chocolate bunnies, some hollow, some solid but all made from only 100% sustainable cocoa, to guarantee a Hoppy Easter for everyone.
Matcha, Matcha Man: How matcha green tea became a thing
If you’ve been by our website or a shop recently, you might have spotted Matcha or Matcha Coconut Bar.But what exactly is matcha, how’s it different than other teas and why is our chocolatier Rachel McKinley excited to creatively craft chocolate confections using matcha?Matcha and regular green tea come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis, native to China. But sometime in the early part of the 12th century, Japanese Zen Buddhist monks brought back from China a new kind of tea: one that had been steamed and ground into a fine powder.In other words, matcha.And while matcha became less and less popular in China, it became a staple of meditation for Zen Buddhist monks and then a favourite of the warrior class and the Shogun rulers. Today, matcha is essential for tea ceremonies throughout Japan, and around the world it has gained in popularity as an ingredient in both sweet and savoury dishes.Matcha tea leaves are prepared in a special way. A few weeks before harvesting, the tea bushes are protected from direct sunlight with cloths, and these shaded conditions stimulate the plant to create more chlorophyll and amino acids, deepening the flavour of the tea leaves.Whole leaves are expertly picked, steamed to preserve the colour and nutrients, then dried, deveined and destemmed. The leaves that are deemed ideal for matcha tea are known as tencha.Tencha is ground into a fine powder in a very slow, gentle process done with large granite wheels. The process is done this way to avoid scorching the leaves. That fine powder is called matcha, literally “ground tea”.Matcha has a strong, robust umami flavour that plays really well with cocoa. Try it and delight yourself!
Yuzu, the coolest fruit you’ve (maybe) never heard of but you definitely should
Nothing excites our chocolatiers more than funky-cool ingredients.Take Yuzu. It’s pronounced yoo-zoo and is nearly impossible to describe. Some say the flavour is a tangy mix of lemon, mandarin and grapefruit. Some say it’s more like peach, lemon and lime.Basically, it’s a citrus that’s 10x better than all the other citrus (citruses? citri?) put together.Yuzu is a hugely popular citrus in Japan, and you’ll find it used in savoury dishes and desserts. Whole Yuzu fruit or juice is even used in baths as a skin softener. Originally, Yuzu comes from China and rolled into Japan during the Tang Dynasty some 1,000 years ago, where it was used for medicinal purposes and in cooking.Yuzu is very likely a hybrid of Ichang papeda (a hardy, slow-growing citrus) and sour mandarin. Looks-wise, Yuzu is about as big as a tangerine, with a bumpy yellow-orange rind and tons of seeds inside.Over in the Western world, Yuzu is gaining popularity (watch your back, lemon!), but it’s not that easy to find yet…which didn’t stop us!We sourced fabulously tart Yuzu juice, turned it into a fun jelly layer (officially known as pâte de fruits in the business) and combined it with—what else—chocolate. Not just any chocolate. Rich dark chocolate made with 100% sustainable cocoa.And that’s the story of how a little-known citrus from Japan inspired our massively popular Yuzu Jelly Ganache. Have you tried it yet?