24 Jan. 2007
SETI League
PriUPS Project

The End of an Eggra

It was about 25 years ago when this egg came into my life.  I was galumphing down 58th Street in Manhattan to visit a friend when I noticed an unfamiliar shop purveying chocolate and bakery confections. 

Original Voiron Chocolate Egg My friend could wait.  I entered.  Among their otherwise undistinguished wares, I discovered this speciality:  A genuine eggshell with chocolate inside.

Dig beal, you say?  Perhaps, but this was really, really good.  And it was on sale.  Apparently the chocolate is a mixture with finely ground hazelnuts and presumably made with a recipe unused by others since it has a unique favor.  On my return I bought them all.

When they were gone, occasioned by a not-at-all mysterious process, I importuned the shop to procure more, and I was fortunate to obtain a "case."  I husbanded them so carefully that by the time this second lot was almost gone, I discovered that the remanent few had suffered rodental depredations.  Worse, the shop itself had vanished.

Chocolate egg with chocolate exposed through broken shell This was long before the internet had become commonly available.  I couldn't just type the name of the manufacturer into Google and expect a list of local purveyors.  In fact, I exhausted the few leads I had from the packaging, found no vendors, and let the matter rest for 15 years.  (I was able to find chocolate during the intervening period; I'm resourceful in that respect.)

When suddenly!  A friend who remembered my fondness for the eggs sent me a six-pack.  It seems she found them at a small shop of French imports and culinary goodies run by a friend of hers.  The Voiron eggs had resurfaced!  With new clues from the packaging and an internet search, I was able to locate the USA distributor and ordered me a passel.  (A big, big passel, by the way.  If they came in dollops instead, we'd be talking many thousand.)

Substitute, anonymous chocolate egg.  Sigh. Which would be the end of the story, were it not for a mysterious bait-and-switch committed by the egg's USA distributor.  The first passel I ordered came in and was duly consumed over the period of a year or so.  When it came time to replace it, I was told that "Due to the war in Antarctica" the price had almost doubled.  I pointed out that Antarctica wasn't at war, and they explained that the eggs came from France and that's all I needed to know.  I waited a year and asked again. The price had dropped and I placed my order.  But look what I received!  No longer the heraldic seal denoting centuries of confiseurial splendor, but rather a gold-colored sticker denoting no more than that the hole was sealed.  Which would have been OK; I'm no sucker for stickers.  But the chocolate was different.  Not bad, but not as good, either.

I followed up with a correspondence, actually a monorespondence since none of my emails or telephone calls were returned.  It seems my new passel was, willy-nilly, irrevocably mine.  And so, the egg with the sticker in the top panel is likely the last one I will ever see or have, since they are no longer on offer from the manufacturer's web site.  I carefully saved the pictured one from the most recent, non-anonymous batch as a reference.  Eventually it will succumb and that will be that.

The end, as I mentioned above, of an eggra.  If you had any idea how my paronomastic tendencies were tortured by writing this, and by how many stupid egg puns my forbearance has saved you from reading, you would immediately scavenge your local "matre-confiseur" and send me a token of appreciation.  No extra points for guessing its desired composition.

NP:  "Drilling Holes" - Marillion (on Pandora, which seems to believe that Marillion has only five songs, rather than hundreds.)

Richard Factor

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