A sugar egg is an elaborately decorated candy item typically made out of sugar, eggs, and water. These eggs are edible, but they are also decorative. The egg shaped candy typically had a peephole on one side that provides a view of a scene created within the egg. For this reason, this type of candy is sometimes called a panoramic egg. This type of candy is often available at Easter and the interior scene is usually related to this holiday, although it is sometimes possible to find variations for other occasions.
Most people find that a sugar egg tastes good but looks better. The primary draw of this treat is the awe that the tiny scene created entirely out of edible ingredients can inspire. Some people choose to eat the sugar egg, but it isn't usually very flavorful as it is made out of unflavored sugar. Many people who receive this candy at Easter display it on a shelf as it can last a long time.
This candy is highly associated with Easter and therefore the scene displayed within the sugar egg typically relates to this holiday. Rabbits, chicks, children, religious imagery, and flowers are all popular decorations for the interior panorama. Food dyes are often used to make these eggs bright and colorful. The outside of the egg is also typically decorated and dyed, particularly along the seam that connects the front of the egg to the back.
There are several ways to make sugar eggs, but most are made using a mold in the shape of an egg that presses a sugar mixture into the desired shell shape and allows it to harden. The mold generally has two halves, although one popular variation on the traditional peephole sugar egg involves simply making one half of the mold and leaving it open. Either design must leave enough room for the artist to insert a scene into the sugar egg, although a talented artist with a steady hand can put a design in even a tiny egg.
The scene inside the egg is typically put in before the halves of the egg are closed, although some designs are slightly different. Sealing the two halves of the egg is essential as well, as it is important that the candy does not fall apart. Many people remember these eggs fondly, but they are not easy to find in many stores. This is in part because they are highly breakable and also because they have fallen out of fashion in many areas. It is still always possible to buy sugar eggs from specialty stores and many gourmet shops, and as long as there are people interested in this candy, the tradition will never truly die out.