Chocolate Crosses

Candy maker mass-producing chocolate crosses for Easter

A symbol of Christianity that sits atop church steeples, dangles from necks and hangs on walls is finding a new home -- in the mouths of the faithful. In addition to its usual chocolate Easter bunnies, candy maker Russell Stover is also offering milk chocolate crosses this year. The nation's third-largest candy maker is selling the six-inch crosses under its Pangburn's brand in thousands of stores, with a focus on the Hispanic market. The chocolate cross is adorned with a floral bouquet and filled with caramel made of goat's milk -- popular in Latin America. Its packaging features Spanish more prominently than English. A spokesman for the Roman Catholic diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, finds the new product insulting. He says, "The cross should be venerated, not eaten."

Easter is the second-biggest holiday for candy producers, behind Halloween.