Nutella in France

Although Nutella originated in Italy, if you go into any French home with children or teenagers living in it, you will most likely find a jar of it in the kitchen cupboard. What is this sticky brown goo that is on the table every morning along with the baguette, milk and orange juice?

History of a Chocolate Success

Nutella was developed in Italy in the late 1940's by the Ferrero Company. It was first marketed in France in 1965 and has been extraordinarily popular nearly from the beginning. It has recently been introduced into U.S. grocery stores, but has yet to replace peanut butter.

Ingredients

The ingredient list of this chocolatey spread begins with sugar and moves on quickly to vegetable oil. After that comes hazelnuts (13 percent), followed by cocoa and powdered milk. What you get is a smooth chocolate taste with a pleasant hint of hazelnut.

Who eats it?

When my babies were still really babies, I'd take them to sit on the beach in Calvi near where we lived. While enjoying the sea, sun and wee ones, I'd sometimes spy French mothers feeding their hungry flock chocolate spread on white bread - for lunch! Quel horreur, I would think to myself, I will never feed my own such rubbish.

Alas, I was full of ridiculous idealism at the time and now I must admit I have a stock of several jars of the stuff on my pantry shelf. Heaven forbid we should run out. Although I don't go so far as to serve it up for lunch, I do allow the children liberal access to their favorite spread at breakfast and snack time.

How do you serve it?

Most often it is spread on a piece of bread, preferably a nice soft baguette. But don't stop there. Try it on:

  • toast
  • crepes
  • croissants
  • bananas
  • strawberries
  • whole wheat bread (but the kids promise it tastes better on white)
  • it is also an ingredient in some cake recipes
  • or you can eat it right off the spoon - I do!

Nutritional Facts

A lot of yummy calories: 100 per tablespoonful.

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