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Caught With Chocolate-Covered Hands

On February 14th, Joby Pool appeared before a courthouse, a far cry from the usual Valentine’s Day dinner. He attended court on an account of theft, but what he stole caused the most surprise: 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs, over $37,000 worth. 

The classic Easter treat’s origin story is more extensive than one would think. In 1824, John Cadbury opened a quaint coffee, tea, and drinking chocolate shop in Birmingham, England. John Cadbury decided to experiment further with chocolate’s properties and opened a business in cocoa production with his brother, Benjamin, in 1831. The Cadbury brothers soon encountered a fierce competitor Joseph Fry, who opened J.S. Fry and Sons, which rose in prominence to become the largest producer of chocolate in the United Kingdom. The race for the best chocolate creations ensued between the opposing cocoa companies, and the first Cadbury Creme Egg was invented. Later the two companies merged in 1919 and adopted the title: British Cocoa and Chocolate Company. The Cadbury Eggs did not debut until 1963 as Fry’s Creme Eggs, later dubbed the Cadbury Creme Eggs after Cadbury merged with Club Soda, Ginger Ale, and Tonic beverage company Schweppes to create Cadbury Schweppes in 1971.

A delicate chocolaty outer casing reveals a smooth, creamy fondant inside that melts in one’s mouth. At least in Britain, this is the standard creme egg product. Controversy surrounds the Cadbury recipes as it varies between regions and countries. In Australia, outrage followed the Cadbury board as they changed the oil component in the creme eggs from cocoa butter to palm oil. The Australian Cadbury community ignited a backlash against the Cadbury industry, and Cadbury reverted to selling their cocoa-butter-only product in Australia. Due to the difference in milk that Cadbury uses, dependent on geography, each batch of chocolate will have a slight variation in taste. The Australian Cadbury recipe uses milk from Tasmanian cows, whereas the United Kingdom version resources milk from the British Isles and Ireland. Yet another scandal follows the chocolatey trail of creme eggs in the United States imitation of Cadbury Creme Eggs. In 1988, The Hersey Company acquired the rights to manufacture and market Cadbury Creme Eggs exclusively in the United States. Hersey tweaked Cadbury’s recipe to include their own Cholcoate encasing of the egg made out of Hersey chocolate instead of the traditional Cadbury Dairy Milk casing. Later The Hersey Company further exonerated Cadbury from American markets by filing a lawsuit against Cadbury. They claimed Cadbury fabricated one of their recipes for chocolate eggs. Hersey’s suit was successful. No Cadbury products can be imported into America; only The Hersey’s Company has the right to produce the Cadbury items in America. Thus, all international (including the original British version) Cadbury chocolate is banned from the U.S. 

Joby Pool, now coined “the Easter bunny” by local Telford police, faces a two-year stay in jail. Related to accounts of robbing the British population of their cherished Easter egg delicacy, in addition to charges of theft and criminal damage. The fleeting period in which Cadbury Creme Eggs are sold (January- April) almost became much more exclusive in Telford, England!

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