stories

Creme egg Meg

left: original artwork, right: the tea towel itself (creased, stained and used)
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I’m a big Creme Egg fan. I stock up on Creme Eggs at Easter and seek out discounted eggs throughout the year; there’s hardly a time when there’s not a Creme Egg in the house, so I’m still talking about them.

A few years ago, when my interest in food as more than fuel piqued, I gave myself permission to enjoy a Creme Egg every day from February till April. In Eat Up, Ruby Tandoh’s food manifesto, she describes the pleasure of keeping an egg in your coat pocket, feeling the weight of it and waiting for the perfect time to devour it (hint: always on your own so there is no paranoia about the explicit nature of really enjoying it). As spring began, my pocket was comfortingly full of scrunched up wrappers like mini trophies, celebrating the sugar addiction I’d developed.

When the White Creme Egg campaign launched in 2018, I began a ritual of lunchtime trips to Sainsbury’s with a work friend as enthusiastic about sugar as I am. We’d carefully check the ingredients labels for a sign of a winning egg, knowing that legally ‘white chocolate’ must be indicated on the foil wrapper (we’d done quite a bit of research into how to find a winning egg). After inspecting a few too many eggs, we’d pick three unchecked eggs (each) at random from the bottom of the box, excitably walking back to the office with them heavy in our coat pockets. We never found a white egg and were never disappointed; we still got to eat three Creme Eggs.

One evening, I noticed the foil wrapper of a Creme Egg floating in the toilet bowl.

Eating a Creme Egg can be the highlight of my afternoon, providing the conditions are right: I won’t eat my egg in the company of others. Instead, I’ll wait for a quiet moment to unwrap my egg after lunch to eat without interruption (any distraction reduces a salivating experience to a rushed two-bite snack). A room temperature-warmed egg in a dark cinema is not a good eating experience. Eating it properly requires a little time and attention; everyone has their own method: I like each bite to contain chocolate and fondant, I nibble slowly around the shell, careful not to break the base of the egg. Others enjoy scooping out every bit of icing with their tongue before eating the chocolate shell, some will eat the whole thing in one or two bites (which is an absurd waste in my eyes). My mum will only eat hers straight from the fridge, they’re eaten quickly while the chocolate is still cool.

My sister and I, who didn’t eat much chocolate as children, would make our Easter eggs last well into May, always keeping track of how many we had left. We wanted them to last forever and were careful not to devour too much in one day.

One evening, I noticed the foil wrapper of a Creme Egg floating in the toilet bowl. I checked the fridge, noticed that one of mine was missing and returned to the toilet curiously. I flushed the loo and watched the red and purple foil spring up and down in the water. Looking around the small downstairs bathroom, I noticed that the toilet roll holder, which had been drilled into the wall, appeared to have been pulled off the wall; plaster from the wall was scattered on the floor. Someone had stolen one of my eggs.

It transpired that my sister had finished her own eggs and nicked one of mine. When she attempted to flush the evidence and the wrapper bobbed back up, she tried to escape through the window by standing on - and breaking off - the toilet roll holder, attempting to reach the window which was a tiny 30cm wide frame with a drop twice her height the other side. If she had managed to reach the window and miraculously fit through the frame she would have landed painfully in our own back garden, locked out, in the dark with the foxes. She said it was worth it for a Creme Egg.