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25 Delicious Facts About Nutella

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Few snacks inspire quite as much passion as Nutella. The Italian-born hazelnut and chocolate paste is so precious, one designer even found a way to lock the jar against thieves. Here are a few things you might not know about the gooey spread.

1. NAPOLEON AND HITLER ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORLD'S NUTELLA ADDICTION.

Back in 1806, Napoleon tried to freeze out British commerce as a means to win the Napoleonic wars (and take over the world). The result was a disastrous continental blockade that caused the cost of chocolate to skyrocket and left Piedmontese chocolatiers in the lurch. Ever resourceful, chocolatiers in Turin started adding chopped hazelnuts to chocolate to stretch the supply as much as possible. The ensuing deliciousness was a fateful paste dubbed gianduja.

Over a century later, chocolate again became expensive and scarce due to rationing in Europe during World War II. An Italian pastry maker named Pietro Ferrero once again turned to the mighty hazelnut for salvation in 1946 and created Pasta Gianduja; three years later he altered the recipe to make the treat spreadable. In 1964, Pietro’s son Michele tweaked the recipe slightly and renamed it “Nutella.”

2. ITS PREDECESSOR WAS NAMED AFTER A CHARACTER FROM ITALIAN COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE.

The chocolate and hazelnut substance was named after Gianduja, a smiling Piedmontese peasant with a three-point hat who rides around town on a donkey clutching a duja—which in the Piedmontese dialect means “container.” The duja was said to hold wine ... but could have just as easily held a few pounds of that chocolatey hazelnut goodness, no? Gianduja masks are sold all over the Piedmont region of Italy, and his face was plastered all over early Nutella advertisements.

3. IT ORIGINALLY CAME IN THE FORM OF A LOAF.

Ferrero originally made his chocolate-hazelnut paste into a loaf designed to be sliced and placed on bread, kind of like a chocolatey version of American cheese slices. 

4. IT SPREADS FAR AND WIDE.

Not only is it available for purchase and consumption in 160 countries, all of the Nutella sold in a year could be spread over more than 1000 soccer fields.

5. NUTELLA TAKES UP A LOT OF THE WORLD’S HAZELNUT SUPPLY.

Ferrero buys about a quarter of the world’s hazelnut supply every year. That’s more than 100,000 tons. Thanks to Nutella, hazelnuts have become trendy, driving up prices and encouraging farmers in regions that have never produced the nuts, like Chile and Australia, to give it a try. The company contends that two years’ worth of its hazelnut supply could fill the Roman Colosseum, and in 2014, Ferrero bought the world’s leading hazelnut supplier, the Otlan Group. 

6. EACH JAR CONTAINS 52 HAZELNUTS.

There are 52 hazelnuts in every 14-ounce jar of Nutella, according to its advertisements. Hazelnuts make up about 13 percent of the product. 

7. IT’S BIG BUSINESS.

Michele Ferrero, who perfected his father Pietro’s recipe and created Nutella, became Italy’s richest man in 2008, with an estimated $11 billion in wealth. Ferrero died in February 2015 at the age of 89. 

8. IT’S IN THE FAMILY. 

Ferrero’s CEO is Giovanni Ferrero, the son of Michele and grandson of Pietro. His brother Pietro shared the title of co-CEO until his sudden death while cycling in 2011. 

9. ITS SISTER COMPANY MAY SOUND FAMILIAR. 

In addition to chocolate brands Ferrero Rocher and Kinder, Ferrero also owns Tic Tac. The Italian company released the little orange and mint candies as “Refreshing Mints” in 1969—only a few years after the 1964 debut of Nutella. 

10. NUTELLA-RELATED CRIMES ARE ON THE RISE.

In 2013, the chocolate-hazelnut spread made headlines in Germany, where thieves pulled off a $20,000 heist, stealing 5 metric tons of the sweet stuff from a parked truck. Several weeks earlier, Columbia University found itself at the center of “Nutella-gate,” an expose smearing the school for spending $6000 per week on the spread for one of its dining facilities, where students were allegedly snarfing 100 pounds of it per day.

11. IT’S NOT HEALTHY (SORRY) …

In 2012, the company that makes Nutella, the Ferrero Group, settled a class-action lawsuit over misleading advertising of the delicious spread. While the spread is about as nutritious as chocolate frosting (the first ingredient is sugar, followed by palm oil), it was often advertised as part of a nutritious breakfast, misleading some into thinking they could eat chocolate on toast and call it a healthy meal.

12. … BUT EATING IT ALL DAY CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT—IN THE WORST WAY. 

In April 2015, a misguided Vice writer decided to go where surely no Nutella enthusiast had gone before—he vowed to eat only Nutella for a week. He weighed himself every day, and he actually did end up losing six pounds, but only because a diet consisting only of sugary palm oil flavored with hazelnuts and chocolate made him violently sick after just one day. He pressed on for the full week, though, and discovered that the spread makes a great addition to a cup of coffee. 

13. WORLD NUTELLA DAY HAS BEEN A BIT OF A ROLLER-COASTER.

Two bloggers in Italy decided to take their love of Nutella to the next level in 2007, and created a worldwide day of celebration dedicated to the addictive substance. Thus, every year February 5 is a day for eating Nutella, sharing Nutella recipes and memories, and looking at photos of Nutella food-porn. In 2013, Nutella manufacturer Ferrero tried to shut down World Nutella Day before reconsidering. But as of 2015, at the request of Nutella Day founder Sara Rosso, Ferrero took over the holiday.

14. NUTELLA CAFES ARE A SORE SPOT FOR THE COMPANY.

In 2015, Ferrero slapped a rogue Nutella cafe scheduled to open in Brooklyn with a lawsuit. First, the restaurant was to be named the Nutelleria, but changed to Nuteria over legal concerns. Unfortunately, Ferrero still thought the Nutella-themed restaurant had too similar of a name to its own brand, and filed suit. The cafe closed in May 2015, as did, presumably, dreams of Miami and Los Angeles outposts. However, the New York location of the Italian market Eataly does have a  Ferrero-approved Nutella bar.

15. NUTELLA HAS A SMEARED REPUTATION.

Nutella became so popular in Italy that Italian markets began to offer free “smears” of Nutella to any kid who showed up with a piece of bread. The phenomenon was referred to as “The Smearing,” and while it could potentially double as the name of a horror flick, was a highly successful marketing strategy. No wonder we're all addicted.

16. IT HAS CAUSED AN INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL SQUABBLE 

In June 2015, the French environmental minister Ségolène Royal decried Nutella consumption on French television, on the grounds that it’s made with palm oil. The World Wide Fund for Nature notes that the palm oil trade often destroys the habitats of endangered species like rhinos and tigers, though Ferrero has committed to sustainable palm oil sourcing. The Italian environmental minister, Luca Galletti, however, was not pleased over this attack on Italy’s prized export, and demanded an apology, as did another Italian politician. Royal later tweeted in French (as translated by Twitter), “Thousand apologies for the controversy over #Nutella. Agree to highlight progress.”

17. AN ITALIAN POLITICIAN ONCE FORMED A PRO-NUTELLA FACTION. 

In 2010, an Italian politician created a “Hands off Nutella” committee in opposition to a proposed European Union regulation that would require more readable nutritional labels on packaging. Food producers balked at the idea that they would have to effectively slap warning signs on their sugary, fatty products. However, Nutella later said it already followed these guidelines, and there was no threat to Italy’s de-facto national snack. 

18. NEEDLESS TO SAY, ITS FANS ARE UNUSUALLY DEDICATED.

In celebration of Nutella’s 50th birthday in 2014, Ferrero launched nutellastories.com, a blog where people could share memories involving their favorite chocolatey snack. A fair amount of people wrote in (or submitted pictures of themselves eating Nutella), including people who bonded with their future spouse for the first time over Nutella, who have named their pets after Nutella, and who have incorporated Nutella into their family traditions. Not all of the passion for Nutella is so heartwarming: In September 2015, a Costco shopper punched another shopper in the face over samples of Nutella waffles. 

19. SOME CONTEND THE AMERICAN VERSION IS NOT AS GOOD AS THE ORIGINAL. 

North America’s Nutella is made in Canada, but you can also find the imported version from Italy in specialty shops (you can tell it’s from Italy by the glass jar). Despite the same list of ingredients, many Nutella aficionados claim that the stuff made in Ontario tastes sweeter and less hazelnutty than the European version. In 2014, a Washington Post correspondent dove into the debate with the help of a pastry chef, and came to the conclusion that the difference in taste could be the result of trans fats in the European version. Yum yum. 

20. ITALY’S SO PROUD OF NUTELLA, IT PUT IT ON A STAMP. 

To commemorate Nutella’s 50th anniversary in 2014, the Italian Postal Service created a Nutella-themed stamp, emblazoned with the brand’s signature jar of hazelnut goodness. 

21. IT ACTUALLY IS THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS.

According to Guinness World Records, Nutella's 40th anniversary breakfast celebration in Germany in 2005 earned the title of “Largest Continental Breakfast.” A total of 27,854 people gathered in Gelsenkirchen to enjoy a meal that consisted of bread, orange juice, yogurt, and Nutella. No word on how they felt afterward. 

22. THE COMPANY LOVES SPORTS.

Ferrero gifted members of the Italian national cycling team giant jars of Nutella personalized with their names just before the 2014 UCI Road World Championships. The company has also been a sponsor of its home country’s World Cup soccer team. 

23. BUT THERE’S A NUTELLA CURSE. 

In 2004, Nutella began using up-and-coming young players for Germany’s national soccer team in its advertisements. The problem? Once becoming the face of sweet hazelnutty goodness, these players tended to not live up to their potential as future all-stars. Many of them got booted from the team in what began to be called Nutella fluch, or the Nutella curse. 

24. YOU CAN’T NAME YOUR CHILD AFTER IT…

At least in France. In January 2015, a French court banned a couple from naming their daughter Nutella, on the grounds that it would only “lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts.” (They went with Ella instead.) However, you can name your racehorse after it. 

25. … BUT YOU CAN LOCK IT DOWN.

In response to a friend who bemoaned his children’s habit of filching his favorite snack, furniture designer Daniel Schobloch invented a lock to fit over the lid of a Nutella jar. The idea proved so popular, Schobloch began selling them on eBay.

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30 Memorable Quotes from Carrie Fisher
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Just days after suffering a heart attack aboard a flight en route to Los Angeles, beloved actress, author, and screenwriter Carrie Fisher passed away at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016. Though she’ll always be most closely associated with her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, Fisher’s life was like something out of its own Hollywood movie. Born in Beverly Hills on this day in 1956, Fisher was born into show business royalty as the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds.

In addition to her work in front of the camera, Fisher built up an impressive resume behind the scenes, too, most notably as a writer; in addition to several memoirs and semi-autobiographical novels, including Wishful Drinking, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, The Best Awful, Postcards from the Edge, and The Princess Diarist (which was released last month), she was also an in-demand script doctor who counted Sister Act, Hook, Lethal Weapon 3, and The Wedding Singer among her credits.

Though she struggled with alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness, Fisher always maintained a sense of humor—as evidenced by the 30 memorable quotes below.

ON GROWING UP IN HOLLYWOOD

“I am truly a product of Hollywood in-breeding. When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result.”

“I was born into big celebrity. It could only diminish.”

“At a certain point in my early twenties, my mother started to become worried about my obviously ever-increasing drug ingestion. So she ended up doing what any concerned parent would do. She called Cary Grant.”

“I was street smart, but unfortunately the street was Rodeo Drive.”

“If anything, my mother taught me how to sur-thrive. That's my word for it.”

ON AGING

“As you get older, the pickings get slimmer, but the people don't.”

ON INSTANT GRATIFICATION

“Instant gratification takes too long.”

ON THE LEGACY OF STAR WARS

“People are still asking me if I knew Star Wars was going to be that big of a hit. Yes, we all knew. The only one who didn't know was George.”

“Leia follows me like a vague smell.”

“I signed my likeness away. Every time I look in the mirror, I have to send Lucas a couple of bucks.”

“People see me and they squeal like tropical birds or seals stranded on the beach.”

“You're not really famous until you’re a Pez dispenser.”

ON THE FLEETING NATURE OF SUCCESS

“There is no point at which you can say, 'Well, I'm successful now. I might as well take a nap.'”

ON DEALING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

“I'm very sane about how crazy I am.”

ON RESENTMENT

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."

ON LOVE

“Someone has to stand still for you to love them. My choices are always on the run.”

“I've got to stop getting obsessed with human beings and fall in love with a chair. Chairs have everything human beings have to offer, and less, which is obviously what I need. Less emotional feedback, less warmth, less approval, less patience, and less response. The less the merrier. Chairs it is. I must furnish my heart with feelings for furniture.”

“I don’t hate hardly ever, and when I love, I love for miles and miles. A love so big it should either be outlawed or it should have a capital and its own currency.”

ON EMOTIONS

“The only thing worse than being hurt is everyone knowing that you're hurt.”

ON RELATIONSHIPS

“I envy people who have the capacity to sit with another human being and find them endlessly interesting, I would rather watch TV. Of course this becomes eventually known to the other person.”

ON HOLLYWOOD

“Acting engenders and harbors qualities that are best left way behind in adolescence.”

“You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.”

“It's a man's world and show business is a man's meal, with women generously sprinkled through it like overqualified spice.”

ON FEAR

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

ON LIFE

“I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”

“No motive is pure. No one is good or bad-but a hearty mix of both. And sometimes life actually gives to you by taking away.”

“If my life wasn't funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”

“I shot through my twenties like a luminous thread through a dark needle, blazing toward my destination: Nowhere.”

“My life is like a lone, forgotten Q-Tip in the second-to-last drawer.”

ON DEATH

“You know what's funny about death? I mean other than absolutely nothing at all? You'd think we could remember finding out we weren't immortal. Sometimes I see children sobbing at airports and I think, 'Aww. They've just been told.'”

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12 Admissible Facts About Judge Judy
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Judge Judith Sheindlin was 54 years old when her namesake TV show premiered on September 16, 1996. Two years later the diminutive (5’1”) adjudicator was trouncing the powerhouse Oprah Winfrey Show in the Nielsen ratings. Today, she is one of the highest paid TV celebrities, earning $47 million per year—which she will continue to do through 2020, thanks to a new extended contract.

Fervent fans are familiar with Judge Judy’s more outrageous cases, like The Tupperware Lady and the eBay Cell Phone Scammer, but they might not know some of these fun facts about both the show and the woman behind it, who turns 75 years old today.

1. THAT GRUFF, NO-NONSENSE STYLE OF JURISPRUDENCE IS NOT AN ACT.

Judge Judy spent a little over 20 years in New York City’s family court system, where she earned a reputation early in her career for being blunt, impatient, and tough-talking. “I can’t stand stupid, and I can’t stand slow,” was one of her oft-repeated “Judyisms” at that time. She also frequently warned attorneys appearing before her: "I want first-time offenders to think of their appearance in my courtroom as the second-worst experience of their lives ... circumcision being the first." 60 Minutes filmed her in action as part of a 1993 profile, and while her hair color and eyebrows have softened since then, her impatient rants and verbal smackdowns haven’t changed a bit.

2. SHE BEGAN WEARING HER TRADEMARK LACE COLLAR AS SOON AS SHE WAS APPOINTED AS A JUDGE.

New York City Mayor Ed Koch appointed Judith Sheindlin to the bench in 1982, and to celebrate she and her husband Jerry—both civil servants at the time—took a $399 package trip to Greece for two weeks. While passing by a row of street kiosks with various locally made crafts for sale, she impulsively purchased a white lace collar from a vendor. She explained to her husband that male judges wore stiff-collared white dress shirts and colorful neckties that peeped out of the top of their robes, so that they had a nice colorful “buffer” between the austere black gown and their face. Female judges, however, had nothing but neck peeping out of their robes and the unforgiving black color revealed every minute of sleep deprivation as well as any skin tone irregularities. The white lace collar, she decided, would not only perk up her face but would also be a bit disarming for litigants—she could picture them thinking “That nice little lady with the lace collar sitting behind the bench couldn’t hurt a fly!”

3. DESPITE THOSE NEW YORK CITY SCENES ON THE COMMERCIAL BUMPERS, JUDGE JUDY IS TAPED IN CALIFORNIA.

Sheindlin spends 52 days per year taping her show. She flies to California via private jet every other Monday and hears cases on Tuesday and Wednesday (occasionally Thursday if there are production delays). One full week’s worth of shows are filmed each day. Many viewers, however, are fooled into thinking Judy is holding court in her native New York, thanks to the scenic Manhattan footage in between station breaks and the New York state flag behind her chair. That is, until something oh-so-unique to the west coast—like an earthquake—occurs on-camera. (Note that in the clip below, Judge Judy quickly ducks beneath her bench once the room begins to tremble.)

4. SHE IS BRIEFED ON THE CASES BEFORE SHE ARRIVES ON THE SET.

Judge Sheindlin does not go to the studio unprepared; producers FedEx the sworn statements and relevant information on each upcoming case to her home (Naples, Florida in the winter; Greenwich, Connecticut in the spring and summer) and she familiarizes herself with enough details to have some background, but not enough so that the case doesn’t appear “fresh” when she questions the litigants during filming.

5. THE CASES REALLY ARE REAL.

The production company has a staff of 60-plus researchers across the country who spend their days poring over lawsuits filed in local small claims courts. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, they are able to photocopy cases that they think might make for interesting television and those copies are forwarded to the show’s producers. Any cases that make it to the next stage (about three percent) involve contacting the litigants involved and asking them if they’d like to forego their civil court hearing in exchange for a free trip to Los Angeles, an $850 appearance fee, and a per diem of $40 (as of 2012). An added incentive is that any judgments awarded are paid by the show, not by the plaintiff or defendant. The best cases, according to the executive producer, are those that involve litigants with a prior relationship—mother/daughter, father/son, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. Such cases engage the audience because it’s an emotional tie that’s been broken (the recurring plot on many soap operas).

6. THE AUDIENCE, HOWEVER, IS NOT SO REAL.

Regular viewers will note that the same faces seem to pop up in the audience regularly. Those folks in the spectator seats are paid extras (often aspiring actors) who earn $8 per hour to sit and look attentive. Prospective audience members apply for the limited amount of seats by emailing their contact information along with a clear headshot to one of Judge Judy’s production coordinators (sorry, we cannot provide that info). If chosen, the spectator must dress appropriately (business casual or better) and arrive promptly for the 8:30 a.m. call time. Audience members must pass through metal detectors on their way in and are not allowed to bring cell phones or any electronic devices with them, and food, drinks and chewing gum are also verboten. Spectators are rearranged after each case so it’s not as obvious that it’s the same group of people, and the most attractive folks are always seated in the front row (it’s Hollywood, after all). The audience is instructed to talk animatedly amongst themselves in between each case so that Officer Byrd’s “Order in the court!” admonition has more impact. Bad behavior is grounds for immediate expulsion (in front of 10 million viewers, as Judge Judy likes to remind us).

7. JUDGE JUDY DRESSES CASUALLY FOR THE JOB.

Sheindlin has been known to publicly chastise litigants who come to her courtroom in skimpy clothing or “beach attire,” but behind that bench and under that robe she is usually sporting jeans and a tank top or T-shirt.

8. OFFICER BYRD IS A REAL BAILIFF.

Brooklyn native Petri Hawkins Byrd earned his B.Sc. degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1989 and started working in the Brooklyn Family Court system. He first worked with Judge Sheindlin when he transferred to the Manhattan Family Court. “We [the court officers] used to call her the Joan Rivers of the judicial system,” he recalled in a 2004 interview. “She was just hilarious.” Byrd relocated to San Mateo, California in 1990 to work as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal and a few years later he read an item in Liz Smith’s gossip column about Sheindlin’s upcoming TV show. He sent his old colleague a congratulatory letter and added, “If you need a bailiff, I still look good in uniform.”

9. DESPITE HIS SOMETIMES IMPOSING COURTROOM DEMEANOR, OFFICER BYRD IS ALSO A VERY FUNNY GUY.

He is a talented impressionist, but his sense of humor almost cost him his job—or so he thought at the time. Once, back when he was working with the feisty Judge Sheindlin in New York, he donned her robe and reading glasses to entertain his co-workers with a barrage of Judyisms. Of course, as always seems to happen when one mocks the boss in the workplace, he was caught in the act.

10. THE OCCASIONAL CELEBRITY RELIES ON JUDGE JUDY’S BRAND OF JUSTICE.

Depending upon your own definition of “celebrity”, of course. Actress Roz Kelly (Pinky Tuscadero on Happy Days) appeared on the show in 1996 as the plaintiff, suing her plastic surgeon for a leaky breast implant that was impeding her acting career. One year later, former Sex Pistol John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) appeared as a defendant when drummer Robert Williams, who was hired to support Lydon on a solo tour, sued the singer for lost wages and an assault. Despite Lydon’s occasional bad courtroom behavior, the decision was made in his favor.

11. THE STAR ORIGINALLY DIDN’T WANT THE SHOW NAMED AFTER HER.

Sheindlin first envisioned calling her show Hot Bench, a term used frequently in the appellate court, but the producers wisely advised her that the term was meaningless to TV viewers who didn’t work in the legal system. Her next thought was Judy Justice, since she’d overheard her court officers warning deadbeat parents who were delinquent in child support payments that they were in for a load of "Judy Justice" if they weren’t prepared to cough up some money. In retrospect, Sheindlin realized the wisdom in calling the show Judge Judy: She couldn’t be easily replaced, as the various judges had been on The People’s Court. However, after 19 years on the air, she still does not refer to herself by that sobriquet; whether introducing herself to someone or advertising her show in a promotional clip, she is always either “Judge Sheindlin” or “Judge Judy Sheindlin.”

12. JUDGE SHEINDLIN INHERITED HER SENSE OF HUMOR FROM HER FATHER.

Murray Blum, Judy’s beloved father, was a dentist whose office was in the family home. In those days—before sedation dentistry was an option—a dentist’s best tool to distract nervous patients was the gift of gab, and Murray became a master storyteller out of necessity. Years of listening to her father at the dinner table and at family gatherings taught Judy how to deliver a punchline. One evening outside of a hotel in Hollywood, Sheindlin was approached by a woman who introduced herself as Lorna Berle. She told the judge that her husband Milton was a huge fan and asked if she would mind talking to him for a moment. The elderly comic slowly emerged from a limo and Judy greeted him by singing the theme song to Texaco Star Theater, her favorite TV show as a child. Milton Berle complimented her in return, saying “Kid, you’ve got great comic timing.”

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