When a whole supermarket aisle has essential items like toilet tissue relegated to a far-flung corner to make way for lines of chocolate bunnies, then you know it’s Easter.
The crucifixion occurs at the checkout, where that which is Caesar’s is rendered unto him. The weekend barbecue is the height of the ritual, a testimony to the belief that burning is preferable to the guillotine, as a hot steak is better than a cold chop.
The Tower of London still reels in the tourists to relive the horrors of persecution but why pay for it when you can do it at home for free? Why chocolate has become the new method of dispatch is due to a few good reasons.
Raw cocoa is packed with serotonin, dopamine, antioxidants, flavinoids and magnesium, however commercial chocolate dilutes the health benefits considerably and with sugar and milk added, the final result of overconsumption sees the supermarket aisle restored to its former glory quite rapidly.
Brought to Europe by Columbus and others in the 16th Century, chocolate was highly prized and out of reach of the ordinary person. As much of a luxury in taste and effect, this ultimate comfort food would soon overtake traditional sweet treats to become number one.
The sensuous melt-in-your-mouth seductive qualities made this brown gold the ‘food of the gods’ for obvious reasons. Anything this good must be divine in nature and a natural choice for those entities.
The upstaging of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection by chocolate bunnies reminds us that the pagan element in us is easily exploited by commercial interests, the expulsion of money-lenders from the temple mocked by the sidelining of daily requirements for the brief idolatry of indulgent consumption.
Chocolate crucifixes would deprive the ubiquitous hot cross bun of its glory, so a harmless bunny rabbit could appeal to the masses without upsetting the applecart.
Seafood being the vetted substitute for carnivores, chocolate fish would detract from that bumper earner so the marketplace is well tailored to ensure that wallets are emptied as much as possible.
Perhaps the revenge of the money lenders will continue until the second Coming, maybe we’ll end up reverting to loaves and fishes when our pagan roots are exorcised and the profit motive is replaced by a greater Prophet whose deliverance from all things golden will restore the natural abundance we have been given, unless we have rendered our planet unsustainable by then.
If that is so, we’ll need every miracle we can get.