Of all of the sweets available here in Austria, I think the boys have become most fond of Kinder Eggs (as long as you don’t count gelato, which is definitely their favorite). For those who aren’t familiar with them, a Kinder Egg is a chocolate egg (about the size of a real egg) wrapped in foil, and inside the hollow egg is a plastic capsule that contains a toy. The toy is (by necessity) usually something very small, and found at random — there isn’t anything on the outside to indicate what kind of toy is inside — it could be a small race car, a figurine, a glider, a magnifying glass . . . I’m actually quite impressed at the variety of things we find in there. (Many of the toys come disassembled and need to be put together out of rather small parts. This is part of the reason for their ban in the US — in addition to a law from the 1930s forbidding any toy to be embedded inside of candy.)
The boys love them. The chocolate is reasonably good, but the combination of chocolate and toy surprise is irresistible to my kids. They have become the most common choice when they kids get to select their own treats from the store. Benjamin commonly asks for them in both English and German (“Kinder Eier”) which causes me to suspect that they are also probably a topic of conversation at school.
Last night, after dinner (and Kinder Eggs), we were talking with the boys about our friends who will be visiting from the US in a few weeks, along with their 3 year old daughter. The boys were discussing which toys they think she’ll like the best, and after hypothesizing that the race cars, trains and bikes will probably be her favorites, Benjamin said, “I know! I think she’ll like the Kinder Eggs the best! Do you think she likes Kinder Eggs?” to which I replied that I wasn’t sure she’d ever had one, because they don’t have Kinder Eggs in the US. Benjamin’s jaw dropped, and he said, with some awe, “Wow. Austria really DOES have some pretty good stuff.”