Christmas has caught up with Easter as the time of the year that the Dutch eat the most eggs, figures released by the Poultry and Egg Association (PVE) show.
Last Christmas saw roughly as many eggs sold as this Easter, the figures show. This Easter weekend the Dutch are expected to polish off some 32 million eggs, that is an average two eggs per person. In the past, egg consumption during Easter was far higher than over Christmas.
“The Easter effect seems on its way out,” PVE spokesperson Pascalle de Ruyter notes, though the reasons for the shift remain shrouded in mystery. Ms De Ruyter suspects long weekends allow people to enjoy an extended breakfast including eggs. In the Christmas season, furthermore, many eggs are used to make cakes and pastry.
Ineke Strouken of the Centre for Folk Culture, however, doesn’t see any link between Christmas and eggs. “Eggs really are part and parcel of Easter. It has been that way for centuries and it still is that way today. People continue to buy painted eggs or paint the eggs themselves,” Ms Strouken insists.
“It’s true that a century ago, people ate huge numbers of eggs for Easter. Nowadays we know that may not be so healthy, so now we eat them in moderate quantities. But an Easter breakfast without an egg to me is utterly inconceivable.”
People in the Netherlands consume an average 115 eggs a year, 43 of them processed in other products such as ice cream, bread or pasta. Without counting the eggs in processed form, that means the Dutch eat an average 1.3 eggs a week, well below the average egg consumption in the European Union. Only the Irish, the Portuguese and the Finns eat fewer eggs. Topping the list are the Danes, who, in 2010, knocked off some 180 eggs per person.
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