Pittsburghers have been filling their Easter baskets with homemade chocolate bunnies and eggs from Sarris Candies for more than 50 years.
If you wait until the very last minute, like I did, you can expect very long lines at the Mother Ship in Canonsburg.
Unless you have an iron will, you also can expect to walk away with a lot more chocolate than you initially planned on buying.
I went to the storefront at 511 Adams Ave. this morning with just one item on my Easter list: a 1-pound fruit and nut egg for my mother. When I walked out of the store a half-hour and $91 later, my plastic shopping bag also held two bags of foiled chocolate eggs, a couple bags of jelly beans, a 1-pound chocolate meltaway egg for my raisin-averse father and two solid chocolate Easter bunnies for my son and his girlfriend. Oh, and a handful of chocolate basket stuffers in the shape of chicks, a cross, running shoes (my daughter runs track) and a unicorn.
Almost all of them made it home.
There's still time for the rest of you procrastinators to get some Sarris chocolate, too, as the store is open until 9 p.m. tonight, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow. (It's closed Sunday.)
While you're there, be sure to check out the Sarris Chocolate Castle, which took 8 chocolatiers more than 2,000 hours over 3 months to create. Twelve feet tall and 8 feet long, it weighs in at 2,600 pounds and carries the princely pricetag of $130,000.
The candy store also boasts an old-fashioned ice cream parlour complete with period-style chandeliers, brass booths and friendly service. I recommend the Kissing Cousins, which comes with two scoops of vanilla ice cream under a luscious blanket of hot fudge and butterscotch sauce . . . it just feels like spring!
Gretchen McKay photos