When my children were young, whenever I brought out the Nutella from the kitchen cabinet they called it a “Nutella Fun Day.” We’d find a different use for Nutella each time: on pancakes, in sandwiches, frosting on cakes or a baking ingredient. Part of the fun was finding another way we could enjoy Nutella spread. I know we weren’t the only ones either.
There are hundreds of thousands of people like me who love Nutella. Sara Rosso, an American blogger, loved Nutella so much she felt it deserved its own holiday. Sara founded World Nutella Day on February 5, 2007, and Nutella fans embraced it. They came together to celebrate their passion for Nutella by sharing and spreading the wonder that is Nutella.
Nutella was invented in 1946 shortly after WWII by Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker from Alba in Italy. Nutella was originally known as Giandujot. The town of Alba was—and still is—known for its robust hazelnut production. Pietro Ferrero went on to found the Ferrero group, which is now the world’s third largest chocolatier. It remains a family-owned and operated company to this day.
While the recipe and creation of Nutella is a tightly-held family secret, the backstory to how Nutella came to be is quite well known. Pietro Ferrero invented Giandujot to address the shortage of cocoa supplies following WWII. Giandujot was a sweet paste made from hazelnuts, sugar and just a little bit of cocoa. It was shaped into a loaf that could be easily sliced and served on bread. In 1951, Ferrero started to sell a creamier version and called it Supercrema.
Pietro’s innovative son, Michele, improved and refined the Supercrema recipe in 1964, producing the first-ever jar of hazelnut spread with cocoa, and naming it Nutella. The iconic jar and name become wildly popular throughout the world in just a few short years.
Twenty years ago, Nutella recognized that becoming OU-kosher certified would help spread the creamy deliciousness to thousands of kosher consumers. A quick search on social media demonstrates Nutella’s immense popularity across multiple continents and cultures. Kosher chefs and bakers incorporate it into their recipes, trendy restaurants feature Nutella-based items on their menus, and countless fans devote blogs and fan-sites to the brand.
Nutella is truly a global icon and has been for the past five decades. On February 5, we can all celebrate World Nutella Day by declaring our love for the nutty spread on social media and sharing creative new recipes.
As OU Kosher’s marketing director, I decided to do an informal Nutella survey in honor of World Nutella Day. I asked kosher Nutella lovers how they enjoy eating it. While everyone agrees that Nutella is best served at room temperature to ensure easy spreadability, not everyone agrees on the best way to eat it.
I know which category I fall into. Let’s see if you can recognize yourself in one of these delectable classifications.
- The Naturalist — otherwise known as using one’s fingers. Naturalists believe that eating Nutella off the end of their fingers brings them closer to Nutella-paradise. These Nutella lovers don’t want anything coming between them and their Nutella.
- The Spooner — this person uses a spoon. A spoon, aside from being the most ergonomic utensil available, is also the most efficient in terms of excavating volume from the Nutella jar. This Nutella lover usually believes in a direct-to-mouth approach for the excavation.
- The Dipper/Dunker — this person avoids using utensils or fingers to reach their Nutella. Instead, this inventive eater uses pretzel sticks, breadsticks, and even fruit to dip into the hazelnut goodness.
- The Spreader — the utensil of choice is usually a knife, and the care which this person uses in spreading Nutella is close to a spiritual experience, carefully covering every surface area and corners with creamy Nutella. Thickly or thinly spread? How do you spread your Nutella?
- The Loader — this person stacks as much Nutella as possible onto any item of their choice. Nutella takes the main stage, while the cookie/bread/cracker is merely a surface for bearing a large load of Nutella.
- The Sandwicher — using a two pieces of bread/baguette/cookie/cracker, this person prefers to surround the Nutella with something to contain it lovingly.
Nutella may be over 50 years old, but each time you open that jar it’s a new delight. Happy World Nutella Day! How will you be enjoying your Nutella today?
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.