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I heart Nutella

Usethis_2We all have secret junk food, the beloved bag of this or fix of that we reserve for those down moments. (Thomas Keller and In-N-Out burgers, anyone?) Nutella, the Italian chocolate-hazelnut spread that comes in jars like peanut butter, has long been mine. My Nutella habit dates to my senior year in high school, a semester of which I spent in Hamburg, Germany. For breakfast, for afternoon snacks after Gymnasium, on a ski trip to the Dolomites and one very long car ride in a VW bus through East Germany and the DMZ to Berlin (this was before German Reunification), we ate Nutella, spread on thick slabs of bread from the B├Ąckerei with strata of sweet French butter. Twenty-five years later, I still crave the stuff when I watch World Cup games or see snow. I mostly eat it with bread and butter, but I've put it on pancakes and waffles, made ice cream with it, or just ate it on a spoon.

And I'm not the only person with a secret passion for the stuff. At the Food & Wine party at Spago last spring, Spago pastry chef Sherry Yard sent out tuile cigarettes stuffed with Nutella. Alice Medrich includes a recipe for Nutella bread pudding in her new cookbook. And when I interviewed former Bastide chef Alain Giraud for a story about crepes and asked him what he liked best with them, he gave me a long litany of fillings -- simple ones from his childhood in France, haute cheffy recipes from his restaurant and catering menus -- then confided that he best likes crepes spread with Nutella. Though normally, he went on, he just eats it out of the jar. I felt so much better.

Nutella, $4.50 and up (13-oz. jars), and $8 and up (26.5-oz. jars); available at most grocery stores and Italian delis, including Ralph's, Pavilions, Bay Cities and La Bottega Marino. Or see Nutella's website for its really cool store locator.

-- Amy Scattergood

Photo by Amy Scattergood

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Yum! Isn't Nutella THE best?! I simply eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon.

Nutella ice cream... that sounds wonderful. Can you share the recipe?

Coincidently someone also named Meghan recommended Nutella to me. I thought it was healthy but later on I was shocked on how many calories it had. I gained a whole bunch of weight and lost a $2,500 weight loss bet.

Oooh-- dip pretzels in it. So yummy. And I let myself pretend that the hazelnuts make it nutritious.

Nutella is the BEST--I eat it slathered on chocolate chip rice cakes (so i can feel vaguely virtuous) or out of the jar (for the whole sugar/chocolate rush!)

I basically subsisted on Nutella when I traveled in Europe as a sophomore in college. Replace breakfast and lunch with Nutella on brown bread and you can save a lot of money! I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as the most nutritious diet but, you know, it's food. It works.

Nutella is not sold in Whole Foods, at least not on the west side. They sell their own version, but don't waste your money. Yes, Nutella is different worldwide. Best taste has to go to the German brand. In our family, we put Nutella on absolutely everything - bananas are yummy, slather it with peanut butter on an english muffin and it's the perfect breakfast.

The dessert of Torino is a dessert pizza. The crust is baked in the brick oven, then spread with Nutella, with slices of fruit, such as kiwi and oranges or tangarines, apricots, bananas. Then it is sprinkled with coconut shavings and powdered sugar.
You have to be a Torinese native to know where to go for these, but, man, are they the Bomb!

Oh, Amy you stirred up many fond memories for me as well. I've been eating Nutella for 30 years! It was introduced to me at 15 by an Italian exchange student I was pining over, of course I had to try it! :) I also remember my semester in France and eating Nutella inside of crepes. Our household favorite is a Nutella pannini with a dusting of powdered sugar as a quick dessert or snack or spread on graham crackers insead of bar chocolate for s'mores!

We get ours at Pavillions.

I don't eat chocolate- but I've been told by friends that the "european' Nutella is different from the American one. I'm 'told' that the european has more hazelnuts and the american one has more peanuts. We bring friends the European Nutella back from France- since there kids can tell the difference and they don't like the consistancey of the one here...
Any thoughts?


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