November 19, 2015
Nutella—blessed giver of hope, sweet savior of the boring, wondrously fabulous addition to absolutely anything.
As a naive youth, you desire peanut butter and chocolate, but as your taste buds develop, you want that next evolutionary step. Eventually everyone is converted to Nutella by its rich, thick, nutty spreadable glory.
Let’s talk about what makes Nutella such a beloved worldwide obsession.
1. Napoleon And Hitler Might Be The Reason Nutella Even Exists In The First Place
In the early 19th century, Napoleon took it upon himself to kick British trade down as much as he could to pull toward victory for the French Empire. What resulted was a blockade that skyrocketed the cost of chocolate among European nations.
Italian chocolatiers in Turin found a crafty way around by adding chopped hazelnuts to chocolate as a way to stretch supplies, calling the new concoction Gianduja.
Fast forward to World War II when once again chocolate prices spiked courtesy of the war. An Italian pastry maker named Pietro Ferrero took inspiration from generations of Italian confectioners before him and created
pasta gianduja, which offered up the spread as a sliceable loaf.
Then, in 1964, the beloved mixture was finally renamed “Nutella,” a combination of the English word “nut” and the Latin suffix for sweet “ella.”
2. There’s Been A Nutella Heist And A Nutella Scandal
In April of 2013, German thieves jacked 5.5 metric tons (or more than 12,000 pounds) of Nutella from a parked truck, worth roughly $20,000. In previous hits, the thieves had stolen a truckload of Red Bull and coffee. Clearly, they were looking for an energy kick.
The heist occurred just weeks after “Nutellagate,” when it leaked that Columbia University had been forced to spend at least $5,000 a week on Nutella, an absurd amount because students were consuming more than 100 pounds of the spread daily. That total wasn’t just polite lawful snacking either. Students were stealing the stuff, sneaking it away to their dorms in soup containers.
Now we know what’ll be the currency of choice once the Apocalypse strikes.
3. You Can’t Name Your Kid Nutella
Maybe name your kid this, instead? Photo: @nutellaitalia / Instagram
Last year, parents in Valenciennes, France, had every interest in naming their kid Nutella, but were informed by a court that it could be “against the child’s interests,” after a registrar flagged the name request.
The parents were forced to choose a new name, due to the judge recognizing the name Nutella could “be the cause of mockery” and “could have a negative impact on the child." They ultimately went with the name Fraisine, which is debatably better.
4. There Is Such A Thing As Weed-Infused Nutella
While this might not seem too surprising, given the historic popularity of pot brownies, it’s still nothing to scoff at. Made by Organicares, a medical marijuana dispensary in San Jose, Calif., and (perfectly) called “Nugtella,” the dope product swirls hash oil into the spread. It’s likely an epic combo, because what sounds better than chocolate and hazelnut when you’re high? Although this seems like a vicious cycle just waiting to happen.
5. Nutella Uses 25% Of The World’s Hazelnut Supply
Doing the math, the large amount of hazelnuts needed doesn’t seem so ludicrous. At least 50 hazelnuts wind up in each 13-ounce jar of the good stuff, and 180 million kilograms (nearly 400 million pounds) get sold every year. Nutella’s maker, Ferrero Group, is easily the largest consumer of hazelnuts in the world, purchasing a quarter of the global supply.
6. Kinder Eggs, Ferrero Rocher, And Even Tic Tacs Are All Made By The Makers Of Nutella
Ferrero is the maker of all of these wonderful, and occasionally banned creations. Makes you wonder why they haven’t yet created Nutella-flavored Tic Tacs, or placed a small toy in the middle of the Nutella jar (not that one needs the incentive to eat it quicker).
7. A Jar Of Nutella Is Sold Every 2.5 Seconds Across 75 Countries
A human is born every 8 seconds. All of the Nutella sold in one year could be spread over more than 1,000 soccer fields. You could also circle the globe 1.4 times with the amount of Nutella produced in 2013. That’s how much we, as a global population, love Nutella.
For more stories about, well – more, check out The 5 Most Awesome Junk Foods Banned in the U.S.(And Elsewhere), as well as 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Vanilla.