The creation of Nutella was one of those “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” type things. Nutella first began in the 1940s by a pastry maker, Pietro Ferrero. 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, to extend the chocolate supply.
You may think Nutella is a big deal in the US (and rightly so!) but here in Italy, it’s serious business. You can’t throw a tomato without hitting some kind of Nutella confection: you will find it in tiramisu, gelato, hot crepes in winter, croissant fillings, you name it.
In our house, we like it as part of a snack tray (credit goes to Adam for said tray and picture!) which includes Nutella salted with pink himalayan sea salt, fresh ricotta, swiss cheese, pumpkin bread and a combination of celery, red bell peppers and slightly hot fresh green chiles (we were out of celery today!).
But it will sneak in many preparations, including just sticking a finger in the jar. You can see, however, that we have an industrial strength jar of it, so after awhile, the spoons have to come out for that application!
Adam had a problem adjusting to a world without peanut butter, but with his renewed joy in Nutella, it more than makes up for it! And he’s been known to sneak some peanuts in… (shhh. don’t tell!)