With the erstwhile corporate king of Easter now a persona non grata, where’s a marshmallow egg fan to turn? To this list, that’s where.
Let’s be honest here. Let’s be truly blunt with each other, New Zealand. The only reason we need a Top Five Marshmallow Easter Eggs 2019 is because you can no longer buy the Cadbury ones. For generations the undisputed Corporate King of Easter, Cadbury managed to shit on, burn and bury its Kiwi brand so badly last year that now you can’t even look at a Pineapple Lump-flavoured six pack for the shame. I mean you can, if you don’t care that this corporate grinch took the factory, the original Roses and half of every single marshmallow egg from our country in 2018. But you should care. These are dark times and someone needs to take a stand.
So, what to do in this brand-new dawn? Go full hollow egg? Settle for those weird little solid ones like candy rabbit poo? No. The marshmallow nuggie is still the only egg worth eating, with its sticky charm and sweet choc snap as you bite through to the yolk possibility inside. As Kiwi as feijoas and freedom camping, only better than those things. So here I give you the results of extensive research, New Zealand’s five best non-treasonous marshmallow Easter eggs for 2019, ranked from worst to best.
A content warning: unfortunately, Cadbury are not the only shysters who think it’s OK to market their products as ‘eggs’ when they are actually just a pathetic half oval – a hoval, as it were. To you unscrupulous manufacturers who deliver only half the egg: I will automatically give you half the points. It’s only fair.
5. Devonport Chocolates, Dark Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Eggs
I made a mistake and ordered the dark chocolate ones. At a marital discord-inducing $26 including postage, I was forced to pretend I really loved them, but dear reader, I did not. The marshmallow is fine and silky, the real chocolate rich and heavy, but these half-eggs were just too intense and dare I say it, took themselves too seriously. They seemed like the kind of treat for someone who collects jazz records and makes a performance about closing their eyes and sniffing their meal in a restaurant before they eat it. There’s probably an accompanying wine list based on the cacao content. The last artisanal hoval languished in its fancy paper bag for days and then I think the dog stole it.
Points for: Being palm oil free (but points back off for skiting about it all over your website.)
4. Nice, Choc Coated Marshmallow Eggs
When teachers write school reports, I am reliably told they will kindly sandwich the bad news between the good, and with that in mind I will start with the fact that these are whole eggs! With a yolk! A central coloured yoke is a great sign of commitment to the marshmallow egg heritage, but it does go a bit downhill from there. Basically they’re sweet, chalky and sort of cheap tasting, which fits as they were really cheap. Nice branding though, Nice.
Points for: Being budget-friendly yolksters.
3. Queen Anne, Milk and Dark Chocolate Covered Eggs, assorted flavours
Queen Anne is a seriously grown-up chocolatier and one of my all-time favourite places to imagine working. Single-handed saviour of real chocolate-coated marshmallow in New Zealand, they produce delicious bars, hearts, half-eggs and chocolate fish at their Christchurch factory. For chocked marshie fans like myself, they offer a dizzying array of options – the egg range alone has toasted coconut, café latte, raspberry, mint and vanilla flavours. You can also choose from two different sizes, from milk or dark chocolate, and the packaging is reliably classy boxes. Never cheap in any way, a pack of eight regular-sized hovals will set you back around $12, which is definitely on the spendy side; squishing two of the halves together to make one proper egg works out to a scandalous $3 each. However, this year Queen Anne has also come out with a $3 bag of Milk Chocolate Pineapple Marshmallow Eggs (still hovals) for the thrifty buyer. “No need to thank us!” their website trumpets. If only they had not gone for the cheaty half-eggs, they would have been clear winners for our Egg of the Year, but they did and so here we are. Choices have consequences, people.
Points for: Best Christchurch business motto: “Beat the shakes with chocolate!”
2. Smurfs Choc Coated Bubblegum Flavoured Easter Eggs
Confessions – I basically decided to write a review of Easter eggs just so I could justify spending $10 on these exotic bad boys. I’ve no idea who makes them, with what or even why, but I do know they are addictive, delicious and presumably full of chemicals. How could anyone pass up this opportunity if only just to find out if they are as labial as whatever it is Smurfette is pictured handing to the pervy Baby Smurf on the packet? (Spoiler: they are not.) A 200g bag is actually only $5 if you can source them from your local Warehouse, but my area is luxury deprived so I had to pay the postage. Still, completely worth it as they are not only whole eggs with an actual egg shape but Smurfiliciously foil wrapped. They very much deliver on what they promise, violently coloured and reeking of bubble gum, and so sweet that eating more than one could probably put you into an instant diabetic coma. They also turn your tongue blue, making them the guaranteed child-pleasing option.
Points for: Proudly being their own freaky egg-selves in a frankly egg-conformist world.
1. Rainbow/Awesome Value Choc Covered Marshmallow Easter Eggs
A scandal uncovered! Rainbow – a sweet maker in Oamaru – also makes its Easter eggs for the Awesome Value brand. You’re getting the exact same unfoiled egg in a different bag, no matter which one you sling in the trolley. Disappointing though this is in terms of consumer choices lost, this is A Good Egg and I would happily buy again in any packaging. There’s even a pretty foiled version in the Rainbow brand, and my particular favourite, the single giant 40g version that Cadbury seemed to phase out last year. I can’t remember how much they cost, which is an excellent sign that they were under five bucks.
The whole family very much enjoyed the chewy texture and fragrance of the vanilla flavour we sampled. A marshmallow purist, I did not really dig the Scrambled Eggs, which are apparently a ‘fun combination’ of strawberry, pineapple and boysenberry flavours – wild times. You have to give it to Rainbow though, as theirs is the only factory in New Zealand still hand-forming full marshmallow Easter eggs. Local hero Rainbow sales manager Brett Simmons has this scornful take on the great whole egg vs half-egg debate: “It’s not rocket science. You make two halves, then push them together” and I’d like all you lazy hoval makers out there to reflect upon Brett’s masterly burn.
And I give you, therefore, our very deserving, New Zealand-made, available-everywhere-for-a-small-sum, Awesome Value/Rainbow Choc Mallow Easter Eggs – Winner of the 2019 Egg of the Year.
Points for: LGBTQIA-friendly branding and for making you feel good about Oamaru.
The Spinoff’s food content is brought to you by Freedom Farms. They believe talking about food is nearly as much fun as eating it, and they’re excited to facilitate some good conversations around food provenance in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.