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This chocolate rabbit has a history

The Robert L. Strohecker Assorted Rabbit from chocolatier Harbor Sweets in Salem.Russell French/Harbor Sweets

The Robert L. Strohecker Assorted Rabbit from Harbor Sweets has a distinguished name for a chocolate confection. But it rises to its moniker: The 5-ounce, 4 3⁄4-inch-tall bunny sits proudly alert, its ears stretched up. It’s named after the grandfather of the late Harbor Sweets founder Ben Strohecker, and is a copy of the 5-foot chocolate Easter bunny grandpa Strohecker helped create in 1890 and displayed in the window of a local department store, which sparked an Easter bunny business craze. You can’t resist taking the first nibble of that ear, where you discover a surprise — bits of toasted almonds inside. In both the milk or dark chocolate bunnies, sections are filled with caramel, nuts, or buttercrunch toffee. You can buy these only once a year around Easter. The Salem chocolate maker crafts other holiday treats — chocolate eggs and chicks — and most notably, adorable milk chocolate Moon Bunnies, inspired by the netsuke moon bunny exhibited in the Japanese art collection at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Netsuke are little ornamental fasteners used for traditional Japanese garments in the 17th century, and rabbits, you might say, were trendy. Each Strohecker rabbit is two halves, $19.75. Moon Bunnies, 12 in a cellophane bag, are $12.75. Available at Harbor Sweets’ two locations, 85 Leavitt St., Salem, 978-745-7648; and at The Northshore Mall, 210 Andover St., Peabody, 978-530-4138, or visit The rabbits can also be found at Blackstone’s, 40 Charles St., Boston; Marty’s Fine Wines, 675 Washington St., Newton‚ 617-332-1230; Shubie’s Marketplace, 16 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead, 781-631-0149; Idylwilde Farms, 366 Central St., Acton, 978-263-5943.


Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at