While many Americans enjoy a variety of peanut butter ranging from creamy to crunch to smooth, there is a variety of bread spread that many have never tried. Nutella is a different kind of spread from a different kind of nut and recipe.
Nutella is huge around the world, though not necessarily in the United States. Instead of peanuts, Nutella uses a blend of hazelnuts and cocoa to create their delicious mix.
What does Nutella taste like?
While Nutella actually uses different formulas for different countries, the most basic explanation for Nutella’s taste is a not overly sweet blend of cocoa and hazelnut. There’s a good chance you’ve never had hazelnuts outside of potentially in coffee creamer – hazelnut itself has a nutty (it is a nut) creamy, taste when put into Nutella.
Some people say that hazelnut itself tastes like chocolate when it really doesn’t. If hazelnut tasted like chocolate, they wouldn’t be adding chocolate to Nutella.
A good comparison for Nutella is to say that it tastes like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with more hazelnut added – only it’s by no means solid.
What is the texture like?
Speaking of not solid, Nutella is unlike peanut butter in that it’s not nearly as thick. Nutella is far more comparable to smooth peanut butter.
When you stick or spoon in Nutella, the Nutella doesn’t stay firmly on the knife (unless you get ALOT of Nutella on the knife). It’s actually easier to spread this way, but given the combination of hazelnut and cocoa, it’s rather thin.
Nutella is very smooth. Though it has hazelnut in it, hazelnut itself is a nut capable of being very creamy, especially when you add cocoa.
Peanut butter can be a wider range of textures as some enjoy it chunky or crispy – that idea doesn’t work well for Nutella.
What can I put it on?
Nutella is most commonly added to breads or desserts, as it is considered a spread.
Nutella is quite flexible and can be added to many things.
- Ice cream. Nutella might be a little healthier than chocolate syrup and is delicious when added to good vanilla or strawberry – or really, any ice cream
- Toast or bread. This is the primary focus of spreadable Nutella. Balance out the creaminess with good whole-wheat toast. Nutella makes bland bread good.
- Sandwich. Make a banana and Nutella sandwich. The combination is amazing.
- Waffles or pancakes. Rather than super messy syrup, Nutella might also be slightly less sugary and more healthy than putting syrup or butter on your waffles or pancakes.
Is Nutella different elsewhere?
Food manufacturers and restaurants do indeed change the recipes for food often when served in different parts of the world.
Ferrero is the Italian company that makes Nutella – it’s also known for making a variety of other delectable chocolates.
In most parts of the world, the recipe is a simple mix of 13% hazelnuts, 8.6% skim milk powder. Canada adds whey powder and the US adds an artificial vanilla flavor.
Italy has amongst the most unique recipes, though it’s not significantly different with a smaller cocoa mixture at a reduced fat. The result is a more intense hazelnut flavor.
Italy also does not allow Nutella to be labeled as chocolate cream as the chocolate content is not high enough. Instead, most countries mark Nutella as hazelnut cream as it contains more hazelnut than chocolate.
Nutella is different from the original recipe made by Ferrero, which contained over 71% hazelnut and almost 20% chocolate. Nutella was initially produced as a smart response to the lack of raw materials for cocoa in World War II Italy. The amount of cocoa used was actually relatively small, and it certainly made a big impact given the lack of other chocolate products around in a country known for artisan chocolate.
Nutella was initially shipped in a loaf instead of a jar. It could be sliced and spread on bread like you would with butter.
Is Nutella healthy?
When considering the spread is made from hazelnut, sugar, and cocoa, it probably isn’t really expected to be “good for you” is it?
Nutella does have some more iron and calcium than peanut butter, but that doesn’t make up for a relatively high sugar and fat content with 200 calories per serving and 21 grams of sugar. That’s a good amount.
Nutella also isn’t meant to be used in large amounts. A serving thick enough to cover your toast is two tablespoons.
Part of what we are saying here is that as tempted as you might be to eat Nutella out of the jar with a spoon or your finger – it’s probably not a great idea considering the normal serving size.
Like peanut butter, Nutella isn’t really intended to be healthy. After all, it was made as a replacement for sweet chocolate in post World War II Italy.
In most ways, peanut butter is actually healthier in some forms with a lower sugar content while also providing more protein. But again, that wasn’t the intent with Nutella.
Just like you would for snack items like potato chips, candy, and others, eat Nutella knowing it’s not great for you – and use small serving sizes.
You might see an unusual bottle the next time you go to the grocer. Nutella typically has a white cap, and a clear bottle through which you can see the brown contents. It’s not always available in every store as it’s more of a European product – but try it and you’ll get to enjoy the thoughtful treat made by Ferrero when chocolate was difficult to come by.
Go ahead – give it a try. You’ll almost certainly like it and consider how much you really like peanut butter.