Have you ever wondered how the tradition of the Easter Bunny started? Credit the Germans with starting to use the cute little creature as a symbol of Easter around 1500. They also came up with chocolate bunnies.

The Pennsylvania Dutch brought the idea to the United States in the 1700s, and how the tradition has grown. Now you can get chocolate Easter bunnies in all shapes and sizes. Locally one can go to Aunt Diana’s for a large selection of chocolate bunnies.

You can get a chocolate bunny riding a motorcycle, playing a musical instrument, riding in a car or just plain and looking cute. Also he is available in white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate.

For those of who are health conscious, research has come up with the fact that dark chocolate is good for you, so now you have an excuse to eat chocolate. It’s good for you. By the way, did you ever notice how they refer to the Easter bunny as “he”?

Easter eggs are sometimes referred to as a symbol of fertility, making one think of spring and nature coming through with a rebirth of flowers and trees. Enter the European candy makers who used the idea of the egg as a means to enhance their business. Now we have chocolate eggs available in a variety of sizes and fillings. Little foil eggs are very popular, but if you are having a chocolate fix it can be very frustrating to peel the foil off the candy. And little bits of colored foil go everywhere.

We can have also have an Easter egg hunt courtesy of the plastic Easter egg. How many people used real hard-boiled eggs and missed finding one or two, until the smell of a rotten egg let you know of their whereabouts?

Plastic eggs are definitely the best, even if you miss finding a few. And they are easy to fill with little treats (the little foil eggs work), coins or a piece of paper indicating a prize.

We discovered “inside” egg hunts work the best after my mother had “hid” the plastic eggs around the backyard. Well, the squirrels were faster than the grandchildren, for they had opened the eggs and eaten whatever was in them?”little colored foil and all. The grandchildren were disappointed, but we all had a good story to tell.

On the subject of Easter egg hunts, the Riverside Recreation Department held its annual hunt last weekend with the help of the Easter Bunny, who showed up at the Big Ball Park and delighted many kids as they filled their baskets with eggs. Cute! Cute! Cute!

Easter means traditional foods. A favorite Italian dish is a calzone?”an Easter bread stuffed with sausage, prosciutto and ricotta cheese. Vesuvio’s Bakery in North Riverside usually carries it, but our friend Patty Miglore makes the best, and we look forward to it every year.

To all who are celebrating, no matter what your traditions may be, here’s hoping you enjoy all that you will do.