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Monster £75 Easter eggs selling out in Northern Ireland

What's inside the box?

By Claire McNeilly

Who in Northern Ireland would pay £75 for an Easter egg? Quite a few people, judging by the way these choc-tastic monsters have been flying off the shelves.

Indeed, a recent enquiry about Hotel Chocolat's flagship Classic Ostrich Egg revealed that the milk chocolate versions were sold out - and, by the start of this week, stocks of the dark variant had gone the same way.

The Belfast Telegraph even had to wait for an emergency delivery to reach the upmarket chocolatier's only Northern Ireland outlet at Victoria Square yesterday in order to see what all the fuss was about.

Clare Hanson, who has been store manager at its William Street premises for five years, said the demand for their trademark Ostrich Eggs is a growing phenomenon - despite the hefty price tag.

"We have repeat customers every year," she said.

"You'd actually be surprised at how many hardcore Ostrich Egg fans there are out there. It's a statement piece and a real luxury that you're not going to buy every day.

"The fact that it's a one-off, special gift that you can't get anywhere else is one of the reasons we think it has become so popular over the years."

Hotel Chocolat measured an actual ostrich egg - the largest of any living bird - to create their huge Easter offering, which they claim is "guaranteed to make jaws drop".

Weighing in at a whopping 1.1kg, the milk egg, which has been sold for four years now, is made with 40% milk chocolate with crunchy cookies and puffed rice, and 50% milk chocolate with crispy feuilletine.

The dark version is made with 70% dark chocolate with almonds and a dash of salt, and dark chocolate with hazelnuts.

As if that wasn't enough, the eggs come with a tray of 21 chocolates - including pralines, truffles and caramels - plus six golden eggs hidden somewhere in the box for the recipient to hunt.

"They're extremely popular gifts at Easter among couples who have recently become engaged, and also newlyweds - especially those celebrating their first wedding anniversary - and people who are celebrating birthdays," Mrs Hanson said.

"We also get orders from businesses and charities, too.

"In some households mums and dads also prefer just to buy one Ostrich Egg to share because there is something for everyone, and they're very popular with people planning parties because there's plenty to go round."

She added: "A lot of people take photos and make videos when they're opening one of them because it's such an experience.

"It has become a bit of a thing on Facebook and Instagram to record opening your first ever Ostrich Egg."

This extravagant creation, which comes in a fancy box, comprises more than a kilo of chocolate - which should keep you going until next Easter - but it also amounts to over 6,200 calories. That equates to almost two-and-a-half times the daily intake for a man and over three times the recommended amount for a woman.

"You'd be hard pressed to consume one of these in one go," said Mrs Hanson, adding one of their regular customers stated that a Classic egg usually lasts her six months.

If you think that £75 is a bit much to spend on one Easter egg, there is a selection of extra-thick eggs for £27, including milk, dark and white chocolate offerings, as well as smaller hard-boiled eggs costing £15 each.

Then again, you may prefer to keep your hard-earned cash for less exotic purchases, while still marking the occasion in much more modest taste.

The good news is that there are plenty of options available on the market for every price range.

You can, for example, treat yourself to a Co-op Fairtrade Fried Egg for £5, a Deluxe Eton Mess Easter Egg for £3.49 at Lidl, a Gruffalo Egg for £3 at Thorntons, or a Dairy Milk with Mini Eggs option which costs just £1 at Asda.

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