As a child, I Iiked to torture rabbits.
It gave me great pleasure to snap their legs off.
I loved slowly mutilating and dismembering them
one body part at a time.
I did it as much as I could. Not just around Easter.
There are two world famous rabbits. One is eight-two this year and the other is celebrating its seventieth birthday.
One is a chatty, rather flippant grey and white whose catchphrase is “What’s up , Doc?” and whose main adversary is Elmer Fudd. The other is brown or sometimes white coloured, wears a golden coat and a little bells tied with coloured ribbons and is similarly adored by millions of children who like to bite its floppy ears off.
Bugs Bunny first appeared in Tex Avery’s 1940 “A White Hare” cartoon while the Lindt Gold Chocolate Easter Bunny was invented twelve years later when the daughter of a German Master Chocolatier chased a rabbit in her garden, only for it to run away and leave her in tears.
So her Dad made her chocolate one which, every April, he hid in the garden for her to hunt.
In 1996, Lindt bunnies found their way to the UK and US. The next year, they arrived in Australia and by 2007 most of the world was overrun. And Easter wouldn’t be Easter without snapping off a chocolate rabbit’s ears or nibbling its feet.
Business began in Zurich in 1836, when David Sprüngli-Schwarz and his son Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann bought a confectionery shop , producing chocolate in solidified form in 1838. In 1899. the firm bought the Rodolphe Lindt chocolate factory in Bern, changing its name to “Aktiengesellschaft Vereinigte Berner und Zürcher Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli.
The company now has twelve factories worldwide and , in 2018, opened its first American travel retail outlet at JFK Airport, The Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum, in Kilchberg, Switzerland boasts the world’s largest chocolate fountain -nine metres tall and containing 1,500 litres of chocolate, flowing from a giant whisk.
Lindt runs over 410 chocolate cafés and shops worldwide selling luxury chocolate bars ( first madein 1949) and chocolate truffles (1967). Most of the US Lindor truffles are manufactured in Stratham, Connecticut.
Lindt chocolate rabbits now come in dark, white and hazelnut chocolate with different colour bows. Each one comes wrapped in gold foil and is polished by gloved hands.
In 2015, as a herald of spring, Lindt released a special edition wrapped in leopard and zebra print. Then floral prints. Lindt also makes chocolate lambs and chicks.
Around 150 million Gold Bunny figures are produced every year.
To mark the iconic hollow rabbit’s 70th birthday Lindt’s Chocolate shops in the O2 ( from Bridgend m Durham to the London O2 ) and its boutique shops in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester and thew new on-line shop are selling £20 500g Lindt Gold Bunnies
The original Easter chocolates are available in five sizes : 10g, 50g 100g, 200g and 1kg.