A couple weeks ago I was commenting back and forth with one of my favorite bloggers all the way over there in Canada, Dandelion B. The subject was about the different food items in our countries. It started with Kinder eggs.
I remember the first time I ever had a Kinder egg. I was about 20 years old and it was in Italy. My husband bought me one when I got excited about the cute little prizes that were in them. After that first egg I was hooked.
That very first Kinder egg became an addition to me. I kept going back to the little co op market to buy more, just to collect the prizes inside. I was no longer eating the chocolate, just couldn’t eat all that chocolate.
So I passed the chocolate on to anyone in the family that wanted it. That person turned out to be my husband’s 90 year old Nonna. She would gather up all my Kinder egg chocolate scraps, then add a piece of bread, and that would become her dinner.
No one seemed to be surprised by it. You wonder how people live to be 100, well there you go…they eat, do and live each day doing the things that make them happy. That’s the secret I guess. Eating chocolate for dinner worked for my husband’s Nonna.
I remember us all sitting at the table getting ready to eat a big plate of home made tortellini and there was Nonna with a big smile on her face looking over her family while she savored every tiny little broken piece of those chocolate Kinder eggs.
I on the other hand savored those little prizes.
My mother-in-law gave me a prize she had when she noticed my obsession with them . She had the little prizes tucked away in a drawer for years. Inside that little yellow egg container was a tiny baby set, complete with a little bottle.
I couldn’t believe the detail in these tiny dolls with their little bottle that fit into their mouths….amazing. The toys here in America we were getting out of Cracker Jacks were nice enough but they never had detail like these Kinder eggs.
Cracker jacks here in our country are boxes of caramel popcorn with peanuts. Inside each box is a little packaged paper filled with a prize. When I was a kid I remember the boxes being filled with more peanuts and the prizes were of better quality then.
Now the prizes are apps you download from a smart phone. Children who are too poor to have a phone just can’t participate I guess. Gone are the days of little charms to add to a bracelet or the pinball games and temporary tattoos that I remember from my childhood. Those toy prizes encouraged us all to connect and share with one another. The little pin ball games were fun to play with other kids.
One year up north, I came across a tiny bag of vintage Cracker Jack prizes for .25 cents at a second hand shop. Someone up there held on to them for many years. I believe they came from the Old Hoagland country store when it was up and running. Now it’s a museum. It was fun showing my children what prizes looked like years ago before they were born.
They don’t add prizes like these anymore to Cracker Jack boxes. Now you scan a slip of paper and download an app to play a baseball game. If you still have some of the really old prizes from days gone by they can run up to $7,000. Two complete sets of Cracker Jack baseball cards are worth 125,000 dollars.This is what I read online, which is hard to believe. Who are these people paying so much money for old prizes. The little plastic charms and pinball machines I remember will only get you a few dollars here and there.
We had our Cracker Jacks here in America and everyone else had those really cool Kinder eggs. I always liked the detail in the prizes from Kinder eggs. We would pass the prizes around to each other, sit them on our desk, or on top of computers.
One time I got a Daffy Duck character holding a little movie camera and I gave it to my husband. He used to be an editor and was always working on sets for television and short films. My husband still has that little prize from years ago, minus the feet.
He says he has no idea where the feet ended up in all the years he has kept it. Now he keeps it in a little plant of his. He pokes it down into the dirt so you don’t really notice Daffy is missing feet. When ever my husband waters his houseplant a little puddle forms at the base of Daffy. He has nicked named his little prize “ The Andersen Cooper”.
One year, when we were visiting family in Italy around Easter, I bought two giant Kinder eggs. They were HUGE. I still have them. One for each of my kids. I think it is nice keeping some toys from the past to pass on to our kids once they grow up. Kind of like a time capsule of their childhoods.
So you can imagine the happiness I felt when I finally started seeing Kinder eggs showing up here in the states. Then I opened it up and I got another surprised. These weren’t the European eggs I loved…oh well. The prizes are still nice.
So here they are, our American Kinder eggs. In America you can find foods with just about any ingredient you can think of that is harmful for us. We are led to believe that in tiny amounts it is okay. But those European Kinder eggs are just too dangerous to allow into our country I guess.
The eggs we get do not come with a little plastic container to store your prizes in. No, we just get more packaged plastic to throw away and pollute the planet with. Sometimes the egg packaging becomes part of the prize but it is so flimsy that you know it won’t last long like those little dolls in a container my mother-in-law gave me from years ago.
I think the saddest part of this story is the fact that we are not even allowed the chocolate eggs here . We get two little crunchy ball looking things in a chocolate sauce of sorts. You dip a tiny plastic spoon into the chocolate sauce to eat from. It taste like a little mini Ferrero Rocher dipped in Nutella and a white chocolate cream. It’s yummy but I still liked those chocolate eggs better. I stay loyal to the things I love.
In Arizona we store chocolate in the fridge so this secret chocolate sauce combination becomes a hard piece of white chocolate. You can’t even use the spoon when that happens. The edible part becomes super hard to remove from the plastic container. After you are done, you end up with a plastic spoon to throw away, just more plastic to toss into our dumps. At least with the European editions you can keep the egg containers for years if you like. Although it was cute to see my husband get all excited over the little spoon “Hey, this is a Gelatol spoon” he said and started explaining to the kids how delicious Italian ice cream is.
I don’t buy American Kinder eggs anymore. After the disappointment of having the real deal years ago I just am not interested in them now.The candy taste good but what doesn’t taste good that is a sweet treat that comes packaged. Who knows what artificial things are being done to trick our brains and tongues into wanting more and more. Sugar is very addictive.
I love prizes and the combination of a sweet treat with a prize is something I believe all kids enjoy. So every year for Halloween, I create my own little Kinder treats, minus the chocolate. I make ghost suckers and have a huge basket of used prizes to give out along with the lolly pops.
I make sure to clean and disinfect the second hand prizes I find out in the world. Just trying to do my part in not supplying more waste to our already crowded planet. I try as much as possible to use things that are already here.
Prizes are all over this state, at yard sales, thrift shops, and swap meets. They range in prices of .10 cents to .25 cents each. I don’t pay anything over .15 to keep cost down. Last year I had about 80 children show up at different times, dressed mostly as super heroes and Disney princesses.
The first 50 kids get a prize and the rest end up with chocolate treats of some sort. I usually buy a bag of chocolate for those kids who show up late. The late trick or treaters are mostly tweens and teens. Or they are a few kids left over from the little church down our street that does a Trunk or treat event every year. My daughter has volunteered at some of their events.Yeah, even the ones that are late end up getting something.
This year I found some really nice prizes to give out. Like a little bird that chirps, key-chains, and some happy meal toys still in their packages. The kids love searching through my basket of treats. After they get tired of playing with them hopefully they will pass them onto someone else.
What are your favorite candy treats you remember from your childhood? Happy trick or treating everyone.
For some more ideas for Halloween candy treats, check out
If I were a kid again and lived in their area I would make sure to stop by for some treats at their homes.