Nutella has been widely popular in the United States for years now, and our culture has found ways to bake it into all kinds of treats. We've discovered that a nearly finished jar makes a perfect vessel for an ice cream sundae, an we've even become borderline addicted.
But how much do all of Nutella's adoring fans actually know about this sugary spread? Not enough, we suspect. That's why in honor of World Nutella Day, which takes place every year on February 5, we put together a list of things everyone should know about Nutella ...
1. You could go around the world 1.8 times with the amount of Nutella produced in just one year. Here are some more fun statistical facts from the people over at Nutella. They say that there's enough Nutella to cover the Great Wall of China eight times. And that the amount of Nutella produced each year weighs roughly the same as the Empire State building.
2. Napoleon reportedly deserves some of the credit for the original unity of hazelnut and chocolate. In 1806, during the Napoleonic wars, a continental blockade caused a chocolate shortage. The resourceful chocolate makers in Turin, Italy, still needing to create confections, added hazelnuts to keep down the price. And thus, the dynamic duo was born.
3. Nutella (the branded product) was invented because of another cocoa shortage ― this one occurred during WWII. Italian pastry maker Pietro Ferrero added hazelnuts to the limited supply of chocolate as a way to make it stretch. Northern Italy, where this spread was created, is still the second-largest producer of hazelnuts in the world. So, suffice it to say, they had more than they knew what to do with. As a result, Ferrero created Pasta Gianduja in 1946 ― which evolved and was renamed Nutella in 1964.
4. Nutella was originally sold in loaf form. Pasta Gianduja wasn't the creamy concoction we know today. Rather, it was cut into slices and generally eaten on a slice of bread. A few years later, in 1951, it evolved into a spread called Supercrema, and that's when chocolate-hazelnut spread really took off. It's believed that the spreadability helped break down the perception that chocolate was for only special occasions, allowing it to be a part of people's daily diet.
5. It took the United States a long time to get on the Nutella train. We had to wait 23 years before the U.S. started importing this chocolate-y spread. It first arrived in 1983, but it took a long time for it to move from specialty grocery stores to being stocked in big chains.
6. Nutella is a social media rockstar. It's been tagged more than 7 million times on Instagram, and it has more than 31 million likes on its Facebook page. It's so beloved on social, we're willing to bet that posting a pic or two with this spread will get your more social action, too.
7. Nutella once tried to market itself as a part of a nutritious breakfast. Laughable, we know. It was sued in a class action for false advertising. And at 12 grams of fat per serving along with 21 grams of sugar, Nutella is no longer going after the healthy breakfast market.
8. The number one ingredient in Nutella is not chocolate. It's not even hazelnuts. It's sugar. Actually, 56 percent of a jar of Nutella is straight sugar. The second ingredient is palm oil. And after that comes the hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, why, soy lecithin and vanillin. That's why some doctors refer to it as "spreadable candy."
9. World Nutella Day, which is celebrated on February 5, was invented by adoring fans. That's how much people love this stuff. One couple in France actually even tried to name their child after the spread ― but the French government forbid it.
10. Each 400-gram jar contains roughly 52 hazelnuts. The company sells 11 millions jars a year (in all different sizes). That means that Nutella uses roughly 570 million hazelnuts a year just to make Nutella. That's a whole lot of nuts.
11. The folks who make Nutella also make Ferrero Rocher, which in our opinion, doesn't get enough love. Ferrero Rocher consists of a whole roasted hazelnut surrounded by hazelnut chocolate spread which is encased in a thin, chocolate-covered wafer shell covered with chopped hazelnuts. Look at this beautiful thing: