There’s nothing quite like a chocolate Easter egg.
Year after year, as you chomp through an Easter egg (or three), you’ve probably asked yourself what they put in these eggs that make them so good?
Is it a change in ingredients? The nicer weather? The fact we only have them a specific time of the year?
It doesn’t make any sense, and yet it is undeniable.
Cadbury Easter eggs, for example, are obviously in a league of their own, and yet they somehow taste just that little bit different (and better) than Dairy Milk bars.
Are we just gaslighting ourselves into thinking chocolate eggs taste all that better? The good news is, we’re not.
There’s an actual reason chocolate eggs taste better than normal chocolate, and it’s all down to science.
One factor is an Easter egg’s round shape. In 2013, a study by scientists at Nestle found that the shape of chocolate can influence perception of both its texture and taste, with round-shaped chocolate being found to deliver the most in terms of melting and smoothness.
A 2021 study in the British Food Journal also found that in terms of taste, consumers perceived rounder-shaped chocolate to be creamier than square-shaped chocolate.
‘If a shape has a large surface area you will get a more rapid release of molecules from the food,’ Professor Peter Barham, an expert in food science and molecular gastronomy, told the BBC. ’The perception of flavour is influenced by a lot of things and shape is one of them.’
It’s not just about the shape though. Easter eggs are actually made differently to normal chocolate.
Ann Murray, the managing director of LIR Chocolates, told MirrorOnline that chocolate eggs are made differently to chocolate bars to ensure that they have a different ‘eat quality’.
‘A chocolate egg has a different eat quality to a bar,’ she explained. ‘The egg is spun so that the chocolate is thinner and so melts easily in the mouth releasing all of the cocoa notes.’
Speaking to Femail, Bernard Lahousse, one of the world leading food experts, said that the way an Easter egg is made helps enhance its chocolately smell — making it all the more appealing that regular chocolate.
‘The smaller the chocolate layer is, the easier the chocolate will melt,’ he said. ‘So that is the advantage of Easter eggs; they melt easily and the aromas of the chocolate come into your nose quite fast.’
Not only that, but according to Lahousse, the feeling and anticipation that comes with Easter can help enhance the taste of the chocolately treats.
‘If you look at food, more than half of experience lies outside of the taste,’ he explained. ‘You taste what you make out of it; when you wrap it in a nice package and it is presented to you by the people who love you, it will make the experience much better.’
So, there you have it. Turns out the idea that Easter eggs taste better than normal chocolate isn’t just some joint Mandela effect or feeble conversation starter. It’s science, so when you eat your egg, you can call yourself a woman in STEM.
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