World Nutella Day
Celebrated annually on February 5th, World Nutella Day is a holiday that celebrates Nutella – a sweetened cocoa hazelnut spread that is produced by the Italian candy company Ferrero. Although once only known to the Italian market, Nutella has become a global confectionery sensation that is now sold in over 75 countries. In fact, according to various sources, it is estimated that one jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds.
History of Nutella
During the 19th century, Napoleon attempted a continental blockade that he hoped would wreck British commerce and enable him to win the war. However, what happened was that chocolatiers in the Piedmontese area of north-western Italy were left with a huge problem. Almost overnight, chocolate prices skyrocketed. They wondered how they were going to make chocolate confections. Then, inspiration hit them. Why not chop up hazelnuts, which were plentiful in the area, and place them in the chocolate? When they did, they ended up inadvertently inventing gianduia – a hazelnut and chocolate paste that would become the foundation for the Nutella recipe.
During the 1940s, the ongoing world war caused chocolate prices to skyrocket and chocolate to become scarce, so Pietro Ferrero, who just so happened to own a bakery in Alba, Piedmont, decided to use hazelnuts to stretch his chocolate supply. This product, known as Pasta Gianduja, which was produced as a solid block, was sold extensively during the 1940s. However, in 1951, he decided to see a creamy version of it as well. This version was named Supercrema. In 1963, the Supercrema recipe was altered so it could be marketed all over Europe. This new recipe was renamed Nutella and the first jar of it was sold in April of 1964. Almost immediately, Nutella was a success and sold like hotcakes.
History of World Nutella Day
During the early 2000s, Susan Russo was an American blogger living in Italy who was always taking jars of it back to the United States. That’s because Nutella wasn’t easy to find in the U.S at the time. Which promoted Susan to wonder why Nutella wasn’t more popular in the States. Finally, in 2007, she sent an email to a friend, and fellow blogger, named Shelley Ruelle, asking her if she wanted to host an International Nutella Day with her. Shelley’s reply was an enthusiastic yes!
At first, the holiday was celebrated on February 6th, but the following year it was changed to February 5th. They also launched NutellaDay.com, which was a landing page that would link back to the blogger’s respective sites so people could find more information on the holiday. Over the years, the holiday became more popular and spread virally across Twitter and Facebook. All over the world, people began to share Nutella recipes and word of the product spread.
Not everyone was happy with the holiday, though. In April of 2013, Ferrero sent her a cease-and-desist letter that demanded that she stop publishing anything with the Nutella name, likeness or logo. However, in May of that year, Ferrero dropped the cease-and-desist letter to Rosso and reached out to her. Today, she continues to run the holiday’s media pages and website, although she now has to place a disclaimer on it that it is not officially run by the company and doesn’t express the views of Ferrero.
World Nutella Day Customs & Traditions
The best way to enjoy World Nutella Day is to buy a jar – or jars, as the case may be – and eat it straight, use it during a meal or use it in your favorite recipe. Nutella is perfect for spreading on toast, mixing into cake mixes and using it in sandwiches. In fact, you probably haven’t lived until you have tried a Nutella and Banana sandwich.