Everybody loves Nutella, just like they love Ferrero Rocher Chocolates. It comes as not surprise that the two items were made by the same company.
10 things you didn’t know about Nutella
Did you know one jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds? To mark World Nutella Day on Thursday 5 Feb 2015, (yes, there is such a thing) we share 10 fascinating facts about the hazelnut spread
Nutella: born during the Second World War
1. The product that became Nutella was created by an Italian bakery owner called Pietro Ferrero in the 1940s. He decided to try and create a cheaper alternative to chocolate, which, due to the Second World War, was in short supply. It was made by combining hazelnuts, which were easily available locally, and a little cocoa.
2. The product began life as a solid block called Pasta gianduja which could be sliced and served on bread, but later evolved into a spreadable version called Supercrema.
3. The Nutella name came about as a result of combining the English word ‘nut’ and the Latin suffix for sweet – ‘ella’
4. The Nutella name was introduced in 1964, when the product was first introduced to the UK in 1964. It now outsells Marmite.
5. For many years, Italian shops would offer children who came in with a slice of bread a free smear of Nutella to put on it.
6. In 2012, French proposals to increase tax increase on palm oil – one of Nutella’s main ingredients – sparked an international row. The amendment became known as the ‘Nutella tax’.
7. One jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds worldwide.
8.. In 2013, five tonnes of Nutella worth about 16,000 euros (£13,600) was stolen from a parked van in Germany.
9. You could circle the globe 1.4 times with the amount of Nutella produced in 2013.
10. Nutella is made by Ferrero SpA, owned by Michele Ferrero – Pietro Ferrero’s son. He is thought to be Italy’s richest person, estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $26.8 billion. The company also makes Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
More about Nutella…
Nutella is more sugar and fat than hazelnuts – its true content of hazelnuts is low at only 13 per cent. Don’t be fooled by the advertising. Here’s what I’ve unearthed about the ingredients. And it really took a bit of detective work.
Sugar is the first ingredient and thus the main by weight of all the Nutella ingredients. In fact Nutella is 55 per cent sugar! That puts Nutella on a par with chocolate.
The vegetable oil is palm oil, a semi-solid fat that’s needed to give Nutella its spreadable texture. At least this was disclosed on the website (see below). The manufacturer says they were using a hydrogenated oil until a couple of years ago but switched to palm oil to cut back on the trans fat in 2006. Palm oil is free of trans fat but is still high in saturated fat so it’s not good for you. It’s a no-win oil choice that many manufacturers face.
Cocoa solids (or powder) gives Nutella its chocolatey taste.
Soy lecithin – a common emulsifier that keeps the sugar, oil, nuts and cocoa nicely blended and stops them separating out during the months on the shelves. Nothing sinister about it. It’s one of my safe additives (unless you’re allergic to soy)
This is not vanilla or vanilla extract such as you use at home. Vanillin, which is most likely the synthetic form identical to the natural vanillin, but much less expensive is the largest flavour component of the vanilla bean but much less interesting.
What’s not present
At least there’s no artificial colours or preservatives, no corn syrup and no added salt.
Nutella is not a health product. It is more an indulgent treat, to be had occasionally, but not daily. Yes, Hazlenut and Cocoa solids are good for us, but it is drowned with fat and sugar in this case. Right, I am off to get a Nutella sandwich.
Here follows a nutritional information table.