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Do you hear the Peep Chicks sing?
Singing the songs of angry hens?
It is the music of the candy
that will not go stale again!


On the subject of undead candy - well, edibles in lurid colors anyways - a passing comment on The Passionate Cook brought to my attention the lack of easter egg dyes in the stores in the UK. I hadn't noted their absence, but she's right: the supermarkets don't stock thin cardboard boxes with punch-out Easter-themed figures and coordating cardboard eggcups, along with a cheap wire dipper and dissolvable dye tablets. Why not? (Or, conversely, why do we get the dye sets in the U.S.?)

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
hobbitblue
Apr. 14th, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC)
Um, why would we want such things... chocolate ones are much nicer, or if you need to dye them, I beleive onion skin works fine. Don't think UK folks have the whole "easter egg hunt" thing going on much.
pennski
Apr. 14th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
We used to hunt for creme eggs and little sugar-coated chocolate eggs. I've only once come across a family who dyed their eggs - and they were half Austrian.

Maybe this is a tradition that we Brits actually gave up?
owlfish
Apr. 14th, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
My first thought was that the food dyes were banned under some form of food safety legislation, but there are non-chemical versions of dyes which work just fine (as The Passionate Cook demonstrates).

My next thought was that egg dying is partially dyed to being about to go out and look for the eggs afterwards in a garden. Dyed chicken eggs are a good size and color for garden-hunting. As the number of people living alone and in apartments has snowballed in the UK especially, fewer people have gardens - or other people to hide the eggs for them.

But it could be you're right. This may be a Germanic tradition which America (and Canada?) inherited and the UK either lost, or never acquired in the first place.
gillo
Apr. 14th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
I looked up the Wikipedia entry - it gives the distinct impression that it's predominantly a Central European thing, though Pace Eggs and egg-rolling (down hills, not as food) survive in parts of Northern England - that would be the Scandinavian-influenced parts. That suggests Germanic/Slavic to me.
mithent
Apr. 14th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
We used to get a series of clues for locations to find small sugar-coated chocolate eggs, each time with a clue for the next location. The final location had a large hollow chocolate egg.
owlfish
Apr. 14th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
They're so pretty when they're dyed! And they're a better size than most little chocolate eggs for hiding in the garden for easter egg hunts.
gillo
Apr. 14th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
My guess is that dyeing Easter Eggs was banned by Cromwell or went out during the Industrial Revolution. It survived in Germany and Central Europe, which is probably where you get it from. You can get various Easter Egg kits in hobby shops like Hobbycraft, but the emphasis is more on chocolate eggs than on dyeing real ones.

And the Les Mis, sweeties version, is wonderful, even if Peeps are mercifully more or less unknown here!
owlfish
Apr. 14th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
Now I wonder if Britain ever had any tradition of egg dyeing?
owlfish
Apr. 14th, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC)
Also, it's good to know they ARE available here, even if not in grocery stores.
gillo
Apr. 14th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
I've known people use food colouring - I seem to recall it occasionally on Blue Peter when I was a kid. We had a Czech au pair one year who used onion skins and fern leaves taped to the shells to create patterns. Easter's just a lot more about chocolate for us, I think.
a_d_medievalist
Apr. 14th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
In my family, we always used food colouring and white vinegar solution, diluted in hot water. And decorated them with crayon designs first. Very elaborate, our eggs. I only like slightly stale canonical Peeps, by the way. Yellow chicks. White (possibly toxic pink) bunnies. No other colours. They are wrong. Also, one sugar egg with a little icing bunny or chick diorama inside, one filled chocolate egg (chocolate nut truffle is preferred), one dark chocolate bunny, jelly beans, malted milk eggs with the hard shell, and dark chocolate solid eggs, wrapped in foil or the Cadbury ones with hard shells. If anyone were to make me an Easter basket, that is. Ask me at Christmas what goes into a stocking -- I'll give you a hint: there must be an orange and nuts in the toe. Considering that I grew up in a place where most people had orange trees in their yards, this always struck me as funny.
teaberryblue
Apr. 14th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Hi! Someone just pointed me to your rec and I wanted to say thank you so much!
owlfish
Apr. 14th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I absolutely loved it. Truly inspired and realized, thanks to quite a bit of work on your part.
(no subject) - acrabtree - Apr. 14th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
printperson
Apr. 14th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised no one following this thread has mentioned Ukranian and Russian Easter eggs, with their bright colors and incredibly intricate patterns. The Greeks dye their Easter eggs bright red. Russians (at least in NY) bake cross-shaped braided bread and bake whole colored Easter eggs into the loaf. I once carried one of these loaves home on an airplane. One time when I was in Japan around Easter I brought some supermarket packages of egg dye to the family I was staying with. They were enchanted and they invited all the neighbor families to come over to dye eggs with us.
mutabbal
Apr. 19th, 2007 10:32 am (UTC)
mmmm not to argue with your song, but I actually prefer Peeps when they have gone a bit stale - they're a bit more satisfying to chew that way.
owlfish
Apr. 19th, 2007 10:39 am (UTC)
Ah, but you're not thinking of context here. This is a song sung by the dead - in other words, the Peeps won't go stale again becaue they already are stale. (And, credit where credit's due, and much as I love them, I cannot claim credit for writing the lyrics. It may not be entirely self-explanatory to look at, but follow the link and the song will be more fully explained.)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )