Easter in A Sugar-Starved City

No chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies? No jelly beans? This year the Easter bunny is highly selective about his gifts and traditional candies for children’s Easter baskets are difficult to find. Macy’s, Gimbel’s, A &S, Loeser’s, Wanamaker’s and Bloomingdale’s report a short supply of decorated chocolate eggs in 8 to 12 ounce sizes. All are snatched up in nothing flat, so shoppers must be on hand early. The same holds true for jelly beans.


Restrictions on hollow chocolate eggs and bunnies were less stringent this year, but newspapers reported that they still were in relatively short supply. While candy disappeared from department stores as soon as they were put out, shops that dealt with the carriage trade, like Rosemarie de Paris, had pricey chocolate bunnies, foil-wrapped eggs and other Easter candies on the shelves. Blum's, a Los Angeles firm that had a shop at 43 W. 49th Street, advertised a line of chocolates chosen by fashion designer Hattie Carnegie who had also designed "the impressive wrappings" of blue tweed paper with blue sealing wax seals. This box of candy, the company declared, was" "definitely the GRAND gesture for Easter."

That week, Clementine Paddleford profiled a refugee from Berlin who made fine chocolates for top shops across the country, including 15 in New York that sold her product under their own label. On April 17 Paddleford reported in the Herald Tribune that Loft’s would have 1700 chocolate shell bunnies on sale at their store at 11 East 42nd Street on Thursday promptly at 10 AM. Margaret Follin Eicks of the World- Telegram recommended chocolate-covered Jordan almonds to replace the colored Easter eggs that have earned a frown from the White House as a shameful waste of food. For those who bought their candy at drugstores, Whitman Samplers were a traditional choice at $1.50 a box.

Hanscom bakeries throughout the city had egg-shaped cakes filled with chocolate butter cream, iced in chocolate and flower decorated. It served five for 85 cents. Aux Delices on Lexington and 62nd Street had edible sugar crystal panorama eggs; although Paddleford said she would just as soon eat her Easter bonnet as one of them. Breyers had eggnog ice cream but their frozen bunny molds and other prewar Easter frozen goods were absent.

The German bakeries and confectionary shops along East 86th Street were stocked for Easter, according to Paddleford. Geiger's Vienna Pastry Shop and restaurant, 66 East 86th Street, had rabbits in all sizes, pushing wheelbarrows, driving pony carts, in automobiles, running and sitting. They were chocolate dipped and cost from 30 cents up. Marzipan eggs, chocolate dipped, started at 30 cents. Paddleford also singled out the bantam-sized eggs filled with nougat, and the chocolate eggs hand-filled with coconut cream, “the first we have seen." A few doors down, Wisconsin Farms, where they sold Milwaukee sausage and Wisconsin cheese and "a scad of small favors for Easter baskets and tables," had rabbits and "rock-a-bye babies" in marzipan egg shells at five cents apiece. Colored marzipan eggs were 10 cents. Unique chocolate bars with a rabbit scene molded into the chocolate were 49 cents.

Popp and Kramers at 240 E. 86th Street made its marzipan fresh. The smallest eggs, chocolate covered at 12 to a pound, cost 10 cents apiece; quarter pound eggs were 30 cents, half pound were 60 cents and one pound cost a buck. They were all decorated. Solid chocolate rabbits went for 20 cents to $2 and chocolate eggs foiled wrapped and filled with chocolates were 35 cents to $3. Small marzipan eggs, varicolored, were $1.20 a pound.

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