FOOD: Spring Traditions

BY Kathleen Nixon
March 29, 2013
Falls Church Times Staff

Easter is second biggest chocolate selling time behind Christmas. But why do we crave those little chocolate eggs and bunnies at this time of year? The shapes of our chocolate delicacies revert back to the time of the Pagans. Eggs represented fertility and spring was celebrated in the Pagan belief as the festival of Eastre, which is the goddess of springtime. This goddess would make her earthly presence known each year in the form of a rabbit.

Why chocolate? As you may have heard in the 16th century Queen Elizabeth I banned hot cross buns because of her belief that the cross was a symbol of Catholicism. However, she did allow the pastry to be consumed during Easter and it was a big hit. The bakers throughout Europe were thrilled and very successful at selling pastries that the chocolate makers jumped at the chance to capitalize on the popularity.

It is not only the symbols that are a spring tradition; it is the bright and fanciful colors. These symbolize that it is time to shake off the dark grey clouds and coast of winter, and look to eye catching colors of spring.  So when I was invited in by a sign saying “Chocoholics enter here” a few weeks ago, it wasn’t the prospect of chocolate that captivated me it was the bright colors.

Artisan Confections, now in Mosaic, features fanciful chocolates with dazzling colors. You won’t find bunnies and eggs here, but neatly decorated chocolate squares. “Tiny works of art from your local micro-chocolatier” is how they put it. These freshly made masterpieces feature Valrhona chocolate from the south of France. Each work of art is then created adding in unique ingredients such as teas, mint, spices or liquors. The colors will entice, the flavor explosion will saturate your being.

When looking at the wide descriptions of flavors you run from comfort food standby such as Peanut Butter and Jelly, or Salted Caramel with sea salt, but it is the more exotic that will cause you to ponder the selection – Port Wine Fig, Earl Grey Tea or the Arnold Palmer with dark chocolate, lemon and black tea. My favorites? It’s hard to choose. I like the spice of the Ancho Chile or Madagascar Pepper, but the Lavender flower caramel was also too yummy to pass up.

The other spring tradition for me was always watching the Wizard of Oz. Spring break, Easter Sunday and Dorothy Gale that is when I knew spring was here. While it has been a long time since Toto danced across my television screen, I did thoroughly enjoy the new film Oz The Great and Powerful in 3D. There have been many 3D movies out for some time, but this film finally showcases how 3D can truly enhance a story.

Artisan Confections

Mosaic District Fairfax – in the same building as Target

2910 District Avenue Fairfax, VA 22031


Hours: Monday – Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm

March 29, 2013 


One Response to “FOOD: Spring Traditions”

  1. TFC on March 29th, 2013 4:56 pm

    The candies are exquisite, each one a work of art. Very expensive though….hubby paid $1.75 for one passion fruit caramel.

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