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World Nutella Day

Photo 1

What is Nutella?  Nutella is that heavenly chocolate-hazelnut spread that you find everywhere in Italy - a staple on both the breakfast table and as a spread on a pizza for dessert.  I first encountered Nutella while backpacking through Europe many moons ago.  As the train pulled into Italy, I realized that I had finished my trusty jar of peanut butter that I had had in my backpack (I was 22...and on a budget).  Perusing the shelves of the supermarket, I quickly realized that Italy had not yet discovered peanut butter... but, there was a jar of something spreadable with a nut on it... and chocolate, which I figured I could suffer through....

Flash forward 15 years and Nutella is now banned in my house, much to my husband's dismay.   It falls into the category of "Once you pop, you can't stop." And, let's face it - for all the promoting the Italian National Soccer team does to push the product as a healthy start to your day, this stuff is packed with hydrogenated oils, sugar, and obviously calories.  It is now something that appears only on a birthday... or if we need new glassware.

Photo 2Glassware?  Oh, yes.  Open the cupboard of anyone's kitchen in Italy and you surely find a collection of fine Nutella glassware.  If you purchase the super-sized Nutella it will come in a plastic tub, the normal size however is always sold in a glass.  The glasses come either plain (for when you have guests over), or painted with the latest animated character or sports figure.... now that I think about it the new 2014 Winter Olympic glasses should be coming out just about now.... I might just have to splurge....

**The local option:  Artisan chocolate producers in Italy have now started to make their own chocolate spreads (or Nutella ripoffs, as my husband lovingly calls them).  One of my favorite producers is Pasticceria Muzzi, based out of Foligno here in Umbria.  Apart from the classic chocolate-hazelnut, they also make a wide variety of flavors which can be sampled in their stores, but I'll save you some time - go for the Pistacchio!

Muzzi-Creme-spalmabili-gianduia-e-granella-di-nocciole-2 Muzzi-Creme-spalmabili-gianduia-e-granella-di-nocciole

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