World Nutella Day

Tuesday 8 February 2008

Whenever I go to a caffe and order a fagottino al cioccolato, I have the annoying habit of clarifying the pastry: "E' ripieno di cioccolato, non nutella?" It's filled with real chocolate, not that stuff in certain circles as nutella. In days of yore, I've fallen for the ol' Nutella bait-n-switch trick many-a-time. I order what looks like chocolate, only to coat my mouth in a chocolate-but-not-really paste.

Note: In pop culture terminology, we'd call this a designer imposter with the tag line "Looks just like your favorite chocolate. . ." or "If you like chocolate, try. . . "

I have nothing against Nutella, I just want to when I am eating it. I think this necessary clarification began in 1997, when a friend brought me a bag of gianduiotti from his home-town favorite Caffarel. As you can imagine, after being told they were "cioccolatini di Torino", I immediately unwrapped three of the gold-foiled goodies and popped them in my mouth, thinking I was stuffing my face with pure, dark chocolate. No dice. Gianduja and gianduiotti have a distinct, slightly salty, very soft paste taste. Not the dark chocolate explosion I was expecting. I experienced a taste-bud-to-brain breakdown just like the time I confused tiny scallops for mini-marshmallows. Again, no dice.

With gianduja as its inspiration, Nutella has a similar, salty taste. And for me, that is not by any means real chocolate**, especially when it is the first taste of the day. Thus, I have to ask, and sometimes repeatedly "Per favore, e' la nutella. . ?" And often times, the Professor acts as my taster. I am not like my American and British friends who swear by the funky paste, (kind of like Australians and Vegemite) and can eat it even if they wanted chocolate. They like their nutella in and on whatever, whenever. I am a bit more reserved with Nutella.

I like it one way and that's it.

Nutella and Hot Banana Sandwich
One banana
some butter
Favorite Bread

Toast two slices of your favorite bread, meanwhile sautee a cut banana (cut against with, not length) in a pat of butter until slightly mushy. [For the super golosi, add some honey. For something more savory, add shards of parmesan cheese.] Place the banana medallions on one piece of toasted bread. Spread Nutella across other piece, to preference. Place pieces of bread together with slight push, and cut on a diagonal for flare.

** NB: I don't believe in white chocolate and feel that milk chocolate should only be eaten in dire times.