Nutella, an authentic Italian breakfast companion
Nutella® is the brand name of a hazelnut flavored sweet spread registered by the Italian company Ferrero at the end of 1963. The recipe was developed from an earlier Ferrero spread released in 1949 created by Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. The original recipe, Gianduja, was a mixture containing approximately 50% almond and/or hazelnut paste and 50% chocolate. At the time, there was very little chocolate because cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing so Mr. Ferrero used hazelnuts, which are plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy (northwest), to extend the chocolate supply. Taxes on cocoa beans also hindered the diffusion of conventional chocolate. Pietro Ferrero owned a patisserie in Alba, in the Langhe district of Piedmont, an area known for the production of hazelnuts. He sold his first batch of 300 kilograms (660 lb) of “Pasta Gianduja” in 1946. This was originally a solid block, but by 1951 Pietro started to sell a creamy version as “Supercrema”. This original form of Nutella® was actually made in loaves and wrapped in tinfoil so it could be sliced and placed on bread for mothers to make sandwiches for their children. But many children, as you could imagine, would throw away the bread and only eat the Gianduja! In 1963, Pietro’s son Michele revamped Supercrema with the intention of marketing it across Europe. Its composition was modified and it was re-named “Nutella®”. The first jar of Nutella® left the Ferrero factory in Alba on 20 April 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular. The estimated Italian production of Nutella® averages 179,000 tons per year. Nutella® has become the most popular chocolate hazelnut spread in Europe and is sold in over 75 countries. In Italy, Nutella® is eaten often at breakfast as standard fare. Today, you can usually find it in American grocery stores right next to the peanut butter. The...
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