Cruising through the grocery store aisles today, I remembered to pick up a couple of items for the food bank bin at the front of the store.
On previous trips, I’ve chosen staples like rice and pasta but thought I’d liven up my selections this time out with a couple of jars of Nutella.
Anyone of Italian descent reading this will be very familiar with the sweet, dark hazelnut spread (in fact, you may have a tell-tale smudge on the end of your nose from licking the spoon).
If you haven’t experienced the nutty Nirvana that is Nutella … well, my heart goes out to you. All I know is, if I were lined up at the food bank and my box or bag contained a jar of this sweet stuff, my day would suddenly look a heck of a lot brighter.
“But what if they don’t have bread to spread it on?” you ask. Ah, sheltered ones, a slice of bread or a cracker serves as a mere platform – a diving board, if you will – to propel the silky substance onto your tongue … and make the world taste good (to paraphrase Sammy Davis Jr. )
Where does this heaven-in-a-jar come from?
According to my extensive research (*cough*Wikipedia*cough*) it all began with Pietro Ferrero, a baker in Alba, Italy, an area known for the production of hazelnuts. In 1946, Pietro sold an initial batch of blocks of “Pasta Gianduja.” (Gianduja is a type of chocolate that’s half almond and hazelnut paste, developed after taxes on cocoa beans made the cost of pure chocolate prohibitive.)
Then, in 1949, Pietro developed his first spread, which he started to sell in 1951 as “Supercrema.”
In 1963, Pietro’s son Michele revamped Supercrema and it was renamed “Nutella.” The first jar left the Ferrero factory in Alba on April 20, 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular. The estimated Italian production of Nutella averages 179,000 tons per year, and it’s sold in over 75 countries.
Suggested reading list
● 50 Ways to Eat Nutella (i.e. “The Spooner” versus “The Spreader”)
● Top 10 Signs You’re Addicted to Nutella (i.e. #9. Your drinking glasses consist entirely of old Nutella jars)
● First Time Eating Nutella stories! Like this one:
“The first time I tried Nutella, I was in college. A local family was going on vacation, and needed to find someone (me) to live in their house while they were away. All was going well that week until my friends and I found five jars of Nutella in the kitchen cabinet, and devoured ALL of it by the end of the week! We went to the store to try to replace it and could not find any more Nutella! I still wonder if the family ever noticed we ate it all! LOVE IT! ♥ ♥ ♥ – Sara S.”