Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

How could I have missed World Nutella Day?

Apparently, it was on February 5th. I can't believe I didn't hold a Nutella party or even eat Nutella to commemorate the day!

If you aren't familiar with it, Nutella is the dangerously addictive chocolate hazelnut spread that has been a staple of the European diet forever -- or at least since the 1940s when Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company, concocted it.

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.

Today in Europe, Nutella is more common than peanut butter. And depending on the peanut butter, it's just about as healthy (those hazelnuts pack protein). It's only caught on stateside fairly recently (it's now manufactured in America and available just about everywhere).

According to the Nutella Day web site:

Nutella is more than just a “chocolaty hazelnut spread,” it is a way of life.

From childhood memories to oozing hot crepes, from breakfasts on vacation to free-spooning sessions on the couch, Nutella is prominent in the memories of many children and grown-up children in the world.

If you're a Nutella fan (or if you're curious about the sweet treat), check out the Nutella Day web site for links to Nutella-based recipes such as Nutella & Mascarpone Cream Chocolate Tarts and Banana Nutella Brownies.

If you want to take it one step further, try making a homemade version.

Pastry chef, author and all-around chocolate expert David Lebovitz posts a recipe for Chocolate-Hazelnut spread on his blog.

How I would love to attend Lebovitz's Paris Chocolate Exploration Tour from May 2-8!

Not surprisingly, it is already booked. And even if it wasn't, there's no way I could afford to fly to Paris and indulge in my love of all things chocolate. But a girl can dream, can't she?

Meanwhile, I'm counting the days until February 5, 2011 -- the next World Nutella Day.


Kathy N. said...

Oooohhh...when I feel bad about feeding my kids peanut butter I think about all those European kids eating Nutella and I feel better.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Next year will be the 5-year anniversary of Nutella Day, too :) Thanks for the shout-out!

Undomesticated Me said...

I'm happy to spread the good word of Nutella, Michelle.