Nutella is one of those foods that are just about impossible to dislike. It’s chocolate; it’s hazelnuts; it’s creamy; it’s delicious. But even if you’re one of the millions of people who are cultishly devoted to it, we bet that there’s still a lot you don’t know about this addictive spread.
Due to chocolate rationing not too long after the end of World War II, a baker named Pietro Ferrero tracked down an old recipe for gianduja, a version of chocolate that replaces some of the cocoa with ground hazelnuts, which were plentiful in the region. Ferrerro’s creation was originally sold as a solid brick, which he called Pasta Gianduja, but by 1951 the recipe was tweaked to make it the creamy, spreadable treat we know and love today. In 1964 Pietro’s son, Michele, decided to market the product across Europe, and it caught on like wildfire.
Today, a jar of Nutella (pronounced newt-ella, by the way) sells every 2.5 seconds, and you could circle the globe 1.4 times with all the jars of the stuff sold annually. It’s also managed to somehow become more than just a spread; for many people, it’s an obsession — it inspires fierce devotion (as well as plenty of knockoffs) in a way that, say, strawberry jelly can’t. Nutella isn’t just something to spread onto bread — it’s a way of life.