sábado, 17 de mayo de 2014

Happy 50th birthday, Nutella!

Nutella is one of the World's most recognizeable products, and has a lovely image in popular culture. Everywhere you might be, you say "Nutella" and we bet the reaction on the face in front of you is a smile. People can't help but smile, when talking about chocolate cream. The product itself, Nutella, has been patented in 1964, and today we write this article to properly celebrate its 50th birthday!
Anyway, the history of this delicious hazelnut cream has older roots.
The idea of Nutella started with Pietro Ferrero (yes, the founder of the industrial family who gave us Ferrero and its Ferrero Rocher, Pocket Coffee, Kinder Ferrero and so on) commercialized a particular kind of hazelnut, typical of Piedmont region, north of Italy. The hazelnut in question was the "Nocciola Tonda Gentile delle Langhe", and it is the base of the Gianduja chocolate, now pretty famous too!

Ferrero, in 1946, started the production of the "Giandujot", a sort of chocolate cream still based upon the Gianduja. Then, in 1951, the product evolved into something he called "SuperCrema", and, the word says it all, this time it was more creamy. But it wasn't until 1964 that Pietro Ferrero's son, Michele, invented the Nutella, gaming with the word "nut" for the hazelnuts and "ella" to make it sounds good in italian. The product had a blasting success right from the start. Seems like everyone was waiting for it, somehow.

The Gianduja piemontese chocolate cream
But if Nutella is based upon the Gianduja chocolate, what is the history of the latter? Well, that's pretty interesting too! Sit down and relax, we're going back to Napoleon Era! The Gianduja, infact, was created in 1806 in one of the most chocolate friendly areas of Europe: Italy's Piedmont! The love story between Turin and Chocolate was going great, really great in the 1700s, with the Savoy crown loving it so much. But the Bandit Corse, the frenchman Napoleon Bonaparte (Piedmont always had a true love for its neighborhoods across the Alps, if you know what I mean), ordered a blockade agains british colonial products, and between them the cocoa nuts. The price of chocolate grew so much that Piedmont's Pasticceri started using a local product instead, a gourmet hazenut sweet and tasty. Guess what its name was? You're right, it was the "Nocciola Tonda Gentile delle Langhe", a very short name for a culinary excellence. The blockade ended, as Napoleon itself we would say, in the year 1813.

Gianduja by Novi, one of the best for us
But by that time, everyone in Turin started loving this new "chocolate", so tasty and yummy they couldn't help but eating it! Michele Prochet, a Pasticcere, or maitre chocolatier as they says across the Alps, then perfectioned the technique in 1852, toasting and thinly grinding the hazelnut. Prochet did that with one of the oldest chocolate industries in Europe, the Caffarel, from Piedmont too. By the way, a swiss maitre chocolatier went to Turin to study how the Caffarel produced chocolate, and then went back to Switzerland: he was Cailler, the father of Swiss chocolate!

The Gianduiotti, delicious gianduja chocolate candy
The Giandujotto, a small cioccolatino typical of Piedmont, was the fist confectioned chocolate candy in the history, and was distributed in the carnival of 1865 in the streets of Turin by the local typical masks, named "Gianduja". The name of the masks gave then name to the Gianduja products. The legend says that Giandujotto was invented giving a well delivered hit with a spoon full of gianduja cream.
Now you can stop reading and get out finding a gianduja chocolate candy, a Nutella or what you want instead!

We understand that, do not worry! Happy birthday, Nutella! ;)


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