Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Easter - a social history for social scientists!



How long have eggs been distributed at Easter?

This fascinating page from the Sainsbury Archive quotes the example that the Household accounts of Edward 1 in 1307 recorded 18 pence for the painting and distribution of 459 eggs to the royal household. It includes original advice and images form the JS Sainsburys magazine produced in house for staff . This includes recipes for simnel cake from 1954

Cadbury's is one of the largest Uk manufacturers of chocolate eggs. Its website records that in the uK the first chocolate eggs were made by fry's in 1873. Cadbury started in the 1880s and the first eggs were dark chocolate filled with chocolate dragees! Go to the website to find out when creme eggs were first introduced!


How much chocolate do we eat now?



the ICCO records the manufacture, export and consumption of chocolate and cocoa worldwide. for those with acces to statista there are good aggregations and clear tables of the statistics

In 2015/2016, about 7.3 million tons of retail chocolate confectionery were consumed worldwide. It recorded in 2015 United Kingdom, the per capita consumption of chocolate products amounted to 6.8 kilograms. in 2015 they produced an infographic that the average UK child would consume 8 easter eggs and 8,000 calories!

If you have access to Euromonitor they can also be useful for market and consumer reports. recently their blog recorded healthy snacking possibly impacting on chocolate

Another good source of free official nutrition data is the Family Food survey which records nformation on purchased quantities, expenditure and nutrient intakes derived from both household and eating out food and drink.This can be used to get recent information on confectionary and compare with fruit and veg!


The tradition of Egg rolling


In the USA the White house has had a tradition of Easter Egg rolling on the South Lawn since the 1870s. The White House Historical Association has a fascinating site with great historical accounts and images which traces the origins to an offer from the president Hayes in 1878 to help members of the public who had been prevented by an 1870s law from rolling eggs on capitol hill due to fears of damage to the landscape

The Library of Congress has a historic collection of prints and imnages of presidents and egg rolling - some satirical!
In the UK the BFI player has some great films of Easter traditions. See some egg rolling in Preston in 1901 (hard boiled eggs) You can also see some Easter holiday activities from the 1957.


Finally Pathe newsplayer has some really fun Easter films. they include egg making.

and some bizarre Easter fashions from the 1960s