New York Shops Offer Chocolate-Coated, Blooming Easter

Jacques Torres Chocolate expects to sell 5,000 kilos of Easter-themed chocolates this holiday season. The famous chocolatier’s eponymous Manhattan candy kitchen is churning out chocolate eggs, lambs and bunnies to satisfy the heavy holiday demand.

He says the spring holiday is about renewal.   

“Easter has a long tradition and Easter is birth, Easter is Spring," notes Torres who is also known as "Mr. Chocolate". "Eggs are a symbol.  The rabbit is a symbol also - reproduction - eggs, the same.  So making them in chocolate became very big.  Everyone loves chocolate.”

Chocolate Easter bunnies are a hallmark of the holiday.  Torres says they look virtually the same everywhere, because there are only a few standard molds.  This year, he worked with a sculptor to create a new mold and reinvent the rabbit. 

"The body of the rabbit is oversized, really fat, and then we oversized the ears," Torres explains. "So now you can break the ears and actually can share the ears - this is the best part."

Easter Bonnets

In the city's Soho district, on a sunny, tree-lined block, The Hat Shop is busy selling bonnets and other hats for spring.  Regulars stop by to find that perfect new topper and catch up with proprietress Linda Pagan.  There are dramatically tall top hats and demure, bell-shaped cloches in Easter pastels.

Local milliners handcraft the hats that Pagan has been designing and fitting since 1995.  A person's hat size is taken by measuring the circumference of the head - just above the ears and just above the eyebrows, she says.  Hat style is chosen to complement the customer's features.  According to Pagan, round faces look good with fedoras and bowlers accent delicate features.   

Although hats are popular in New York year round, Pagan says Easter is the perfect excuse for flamboyance. 

"At the Easter parade, you'll get people dressing to the nines," she says. "It's not necessarily about everyday fashion.  It's about fashion for Easter."

Historically, Easter church services and the parade on New York’s Fifth Avenue set the stage for dramatic hats bedecked with feathers, flowers and ribbons.   

"At a time when women would dress to impress at church, Easter was the time to pull out all the stops," explains Pagan.

A brief hat history with Linda Pagan

The egg, the rabbit and the flowers adorning a colorful bonnet speak not only to Easter, but also to the rebirth and renewal of spring across the Northern Hemisphere.  As for the chocolate, Jacques Torres says people are always looking for an excuse to eat more sweets.

Jacques Torres chocolate shop expects to sell 5,000 kilos of Easter-themed chocolates this holiday season.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Hamdhy
April 07, 2012 7:06 PM
I do love rabbit's ears chocolate... I want to fly to that festival and buy it from Mr.Chocolate...Yummy

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs