What’s a more fitting post-Easter story than this? Kinder Surprise Eggs, a delectable chocolate treat with a fun toy hidden within, are not allowed into the United States due to a 1938 FDCA law forbidding candies with “non-nutritive” insides. But Leslie Dannelly, whose husband is stationed in Rammstein, has started Free the Egg, an online campaign to change those laws and bring the magic of these German chocolate eggs to all.
If you can’t tell, I’m a convert. My mother’s parents live in Germany, so my childhood trips to see them always included plastic cartons of these yummy treats. If you haven’t had the joy of trying them, here’s the run-down: Two layers of milk and white chocolate that you pop open easily to reveal a colored pellet. That in turn is filled with either a premade figurine or (more fun) the parts and instructions to make one. The latter toys are incredibly complex; I’ve made a racecar that moves when you drag it backwards, and a little monkey on a swing that actually swings.
Mostly I can get Kinder Eggs only when I’m overseas, though there has been some sneaky customs action that brought them here to the States. They remain the one Kinder product — there are chocolate bars, Buenos, Happy Hippos — that isn’t available here unless you subscribe to some sort of candy black market.
Dannelly’s petition aims to change that. Her blog highlights how unreasonable these laws are, especially when put into effect: A Canadian woman was stopped at the U.S. border and given a seven-page letter asking if she wanted to hand over the eggs or get a $300 fine. German post office employees admitted to Dannelly that they ate the eggs after refusing to ship them to the U.S.
The fear is that children will choke on the toy pieces, but 1) there’s a clear warning saying that these treats are inappropriate for children under 3, and 2) don’t parents watch what their kids eat? I don’t want my kids to only get to enjoy Kinder Surprise Eggs when they’re visiting their great-grandparents.