10 Surprising Facts About Nutella

Nutella has rescued us from breakups, from bad days at work, and often from our own hangry selves. But how much do we really know about the chocolate-hazelnut spread, other than that it's good enough to eat straight from the jar? (We all do it — no judgements here.) As it turns out, the story of how Nutella ended up with a permanent spot in our pantries (and our hearts) is pretty amazing. Thanks to Nutella World (yes, there's a book on the subject) by Gigi Padovani, we have all the info we need on Nutella and its parent company, Ferrero, to officially call the spread our CFL (condiment for life.) Below, check out 10 facts we never knew about Nutella.
1. Napoleon & World War II Were Responsible For The Invention Of Nutella
We'll spare you the complicated historical details, but suffice it to say that, thanks to an embargo that Napoleon decreed in 1806, it was nearly impossible to get sugar cane or cocoa in Italy at the time. To compensate, chocolatiers began using sugar beets, hazelnuts, and dried fruits to make a substitute for chocolate. The same tactic was employed again during World War II when a shortage of cocoa and sugar led the Ferrero brothers to begin using sugar beet molasses, hazelnuts, and coconut butter to offset the lack of familiar ingredients and make sweets for those who couldn't afford regular chocolate due to its extremely high prices.

2. Nutella Wasn't Intended To Be A Spread
First, there was Giandujot — back in 1945. It was a small block of semi-hard chocolate-hazelnut mixture that could be sliced and eaten with bread. However, the summer of 1949 was a particularly hot one, and all the Giandujot were melting before they could make it to customers. It was then that Ferrero realized Giandujot could be reduced to a cream and spread on bread instead of sliced over it. Thus, the Nutella we all know and love was born, entirely by accident.

3. It Wasn't Always Called Nutella
The first name of the Nutella we know was Supercrema, and it debuted in 1949. It was the first spreadable version of Giandujot. Ferrero ultimately had to change the name after a law was passed in Italy in 1962 that forbid brands from misleading the public about the nutritional value of a product. (Apparently having the word "super" in its name seemed to imply more nutrients than the spread could boast.) After going through variations such as Nutsy, Nussly, Nutosa, and Nutina, the company finally landed on the now-beloved Nutella.

4. The Creators Of Nutella Also Invented Tic Tacs
Ferrero, the Italian parent company behind Nutella, spent years perfecting its chocolate products — and then unexpectedly moved on to mints.

5. Celebs Love Nutella Just As Much As We Do
Lady Gaga, Pippa Middleton, Heidi Klum, Hayden Panettiere, Ina Garten, Shakira, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic are only some of the celebrities who have publicly waxed poetic about Nutella.

6. The First Official Jar Was Made 51 Years Ago
The first jar of Nutella was made and sold in Italy in April of 1964.

7. It's The Second Most Popular Food Brand On Facebook
We're not the only fans of Nutella. In fact, the world is so obsessed with the spread that as of 2014, it was one of the most popular food brands on Facebook, second only to Oreo. Today, the brand has over 30 million likes.

8. Americans & Italians Don't Consume The Most Nutella Annually
You'd think America's obsession with the spread or the fact that it comes from Italy would mean one of those countries would eat more of it than anyone else. But, it's actually France that goes through more jars of Nutella than anyone else. They eat 2.2-pounds of Nutella per person per year.

9. It All Comes Down To The Manteca
First of all, what is manteca? It's apparently "the heart of the [Nutella] recipe," according to Padovani, and refers to "a mixture of soft or fat substances with a creamy consistency." The manteca is achieved right after the hazelnuts are toasted and then ground to the perfect consistency before anything else (even chocolate) is added to the mixture.

10. Ferrero Packages 1,212,000 tons worth of sweets each year.
That's enough to fill 27,000 trucks, which could line the distance between Chicago and Detroit.

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