Things considered a big deal in Europe but not in the States - Part 2: Nutella

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When last we checked in with this feature, Eurovision was on the brain. Today we're going to examine the phenomenon called Nutella. In many European countries, it's as common in homes as peanut butter is in America. And in Italy, where Nutella originates, my friends say it's not only more popular than peanut butter, it's the topic of books and even movies, as you'll see at the end of this post.

Curiously, Nutella's ingredients vary from country to country but the main components—sugar, vegetable oil, hazelnuts and cocoa powder—combine to create one fantastic creamy spread. Most of you have probably had Nutella while on vacation abroad or even at a crêpe place here in the States, right? But haven't you always wondered why it hasn't caught on in our country the way, say, Marshmallow Fluff has?

nut.jpgThe history of Nutella is kinda interesting. It was originally developed by Pietro Ferrero in the 1950s and called Supercrema. Then, in the early 60s, Michele Ferrero (Pietro's son) gave Supercrema a nutty makeover and teenagers across Europe have been happier ever since.

bryantnutella.jpgPerhaps one of the reasons why it hasn't caught on here is because it was only available as a pricey import until around 2001. At one point, Nutella tried to reach out to the American consumer, naming Kobe Bryant its spokesman (I know, bizarre, but remember, he grew up in Italy).

Here's a link to a YouTube clip from the movie Bianca, by Nanni Moretti. (I'm not posting the actual video because it contains brief nudity, though not of the frontal kind.) Check out the size of the jar of Nutella this guy is eating from—looks yummy, no?

To close, I thought it would be fun to hear from our readers across the pond. Roll call time! What country/city are you in right now? Let us know!

September 30, 2007 - 9:00pm
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