The first Kinder Surprise I ever tried was smuggled in from Germany for me in the late nineties. At the time, the lore was that it couldn't be made or sold in the United States because it contained a toy inside a plastic egg encased in chocolate and there were concerns about regulating a potential choking hazard. Kinder eggs became a forbidden fruit and a source of curiosity as to why we were deemed incapable of handling it. A chocolate plus toy treat felt like a step up from what we could have, which was Cracker Jacks.

Kinder Egg
Photo courtesy of Ferrero USA.

We are still not allowed to have that particular nice surprise thing here, but this month Ferrero U.S.A., the American branch of the Italian company behind Ferrero-Rocher chocolates and the supplier of your Nutella addiction, put a new egg-shaped Kinder Joy on mass shelves at convenience, drug, and grocery stores nationwide. It's wrapped up like a whole egg, but is comprised of two sealed halves. One side has a surprise toy and the other has an edible cocoa and cream confection dotted with chocolate wafer orbs that's best eaten with a spoon. It's very similar to Kinder Merendero, a product that has been available for years in countries with warmer climates where chocolate tends to melt.

Yes, Kinder means kids and these are predominantly aimed at children (and conveniently timed for the holidays), but just try stopping me from collecting these toys for at least a little while. These delicious eggs are available now (November 2017) at Walmart for $1.59 each.