Nutella: Need I say more?
Type Nutella into Google and you get more than 41,000,000 results. Crazy, don’t you think? Each result endlessly repeats words like “fabulous,” “delicious,” “creamy,” “super-tasty.” In a nutshell, what we get are an enormous number of words that are good for our heart, even if a little less good for our bodies.
Personally, as an Italian, I would say that Nutella is one of the best things we’ve made. I’m using the word “we” because, to be honest, for the most part people have simply forgotten that this legendary miracle that we can enjoy here on Earth is the result of the work of one man – Pietro Ferrero. I mean, today Nutella is synonymous with Italy, like pizza or pasta. We speak about it as if it were a national invention we had to jealously protect.
Nutella was invented in a small workshop in the hills of Asti in 1945. Here, a craftsman from Turin, Pietro Ferrero, combined chocolate (which was still being rationed) with hazelnut paste. Soon his original creation, called Giandujot, became a spreadable cream called Supercrema. In 1964 as the company expanded beyond Italy the name was changed again to the one we recognize today, Nutella.
There are conflicting stories about the birth of Nutella. To be honest, I personally find it so magically good, I’d be willing to believe that it came out of a fairy wand. Let’s use our imagination for a few seconds to fly to postwar Italy. You see a country destroyed by war, where the population lives in poverty and a terrible sadness weighs on people’s hearts. It is said that men are capable of anything in difficulty. In this case, it seems that sometimes they’re even able to discover a taste of happiness. From the rubble of a decimated country one of the best treats in the world is born.
Maybe I’m a bit partisan, but when I think about Nutella I can’t help but smile and lots of memories begin to warm my heart. My mom used to place it on the highest shelf in the kitchen. When I was little it was hard even to see it, imagine trying to steal it! No worries, Nutella is to (greedy) kids what the moon is to astronauts; I mean, where there’s a will there’s a way no matter how old you are. I remember building the most incredible towers out of chairs, tables and whatever else could help me reach higher. The taste of that sweaty conquest was a piece of history. Like a thief in the night, I would take a deep whiff from the jar of Nutella as though I could taste it that way and then, inevitably, I slipped my finger into the chocolate spread. What a thrill!
As an adult, the biggest challenge is fighting the temptation to buy it every time. However, there are some times when it just remains the best drug in the world. Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” said that when you get the “mean reds” the only think to do is to “jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s.” I truly love what Tiffany’s has to offer, but let’s be honest, Nutella is definitely much cheaper and you can’t survive on a jewel. So when I get the “mean reds” I rent a movie, call some friends and get into bed with Nutella. In those moments you realize that things will pass.
I don’t know if my personal memories of this delicious little Italian creation have bored you. I hope they haven’t. My intention was not to tempt you into buying some Nutella, but rather to get you to share your memories as well, as if we were two friends over a cup of coffee and perhaps even a slice of bread and Nutella.