Kinder Überraschungen

Raymond Chen

Laura John entertains her colleagues with Kinder Surprise eggs. I love these things.

I understand that Kinder Surprise eggs are illegal in the US for two reasons.

  1. Small parts. But that can be fixed by labelling the egg as “for ages 3 and up”.

  2. The FDA has a rule banning “inedible material completely enclosed by edible material”. Apparently they think somebody is going to stupidly pop the entire egg in their mouth and try to swallow it hole? Psst, FDA, maybe you should ban peaches, too. I understand the pit is inedible.

Whenever I go to Germany I smuggle some Kinder Überraschungen into the States. (Yes, they’re also available in Canada, but if you got them from Canada, they wouldn’t be in German now would they?) (Yes, I know that the candy is originally from Italy.)

I’m told that in Germany, children will often buy Überraschungen on the playground from a street vendor, who asks them whether they prefer “Etwas zu sammeln oder etwas zu bauen?” – “Something to collect (a figurine) or something to build?” But how do they know?

They guess by shaking the egg and listening to the rattling.

If you ask for something to build and you end up getting something to collect, the excuse is, “Well, our regular shaker is sick today.”


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