Sunday, November 12, 2006

They're Baaaaaaack....

Every year about this time, something strange happens. Mutant Nutella jars, most likely hatched from special pods in one of the Ferrero factories, start appearing in big displays on grocery store floors.

Wait, let me back up a moment. Are we all aware of the Italian phenomenon known as Nutella? I'd go so far as to say that it is as much a part of the Italian culture as pasta and caffè. I always think of it as the Italian version of peanut butter. It's a chocolate-hazelnut spread that most commonly goes on bread, or—let's not be shy with the truth around here—eaten straight from the jar. It's famous on crepes and is eaten for breakfast on crunchy pieces of melba toast. You've gotta love a country where a rich concoction similar to super-fudge chocolate icing is an honest-to-goodness breakfast food.

But, back to the main story. The Nutella I normally buy comes in a 200g (about 7 oz.) jar, and when it's gone you can rinse out the jar and reuse it as a juice glass. Visualize: juice glass. The mutants that come out for the holidays have been injected with something at the factory, because they are no less than 3 kilos in weight. THREE KILOS, people. That is 6.61 pounds of pure, vegetable oil-laden goodness.

Note how, in typical McDonald's take-out bag style, I have carefully arranged my humble 200g jar next to its mutant cousin, to give you an idea of what we are dealing with here.

Now, I love Nutella as much as the next guy, but not as much as my pal Jessica, a.k.a. Finny Knits. While I'm sure many a blog post has been written singing the praises of the stuff originally known as "Supercrema," the most recent one I know of is hers. Finny was out visiting in October and little did I know that she has a thing for Nutella. A little side fling, unbeknownst to her poor, unsuspecting hubby. Given that this girl is one of the few people I consider more than a best friend, but like a sister, I did something this year that I've never done before: I bought the 3 kilo tub-o-'tella. And come hell or high water, that puppy is making it across the Atlantic this holiday season. "Friendship is..." when a 3 kilo box of Nutella becomes a carry-on. Yes indeedy, 'cuz it most helpfully comes with its very own box!

The only drawback is the lack of wheels for when I'm running through the airport. Luckily I don't have any stops in London, so it should make it on OK (since I highly doubt they'd let that go in the little transparent bag for ChapStick and keys). I just hope they don't make me eat some to prove it isn't lethal. I'm sure Finny wouldn't appreciate that.

17 comments:

Jenny said...

You can put it on bread? Gee, what will they think of next - all these years I've just been eating it out of the jar!

Pat said...

Nutella is just as big a phenomenon here in France. My boys (American by birth!) will not eat peanut butter but eat TONS of Nutella!! Their lunch today was Nutella and Fluff sandwichs (remember that sweet, sweet marshmellowy spread back in the States - we always have to bring some back when we go there).

And when we visit my mother in the States, she always remembers to buy a jar of Nutella for the boys!!!

Now me, I am not too keen about it. :-(

Darbs said...

Sorry it's taken so long for me to pay you a visit!

I just picked up a can of Nutella in the grocery store the other day. I still have yet to try it, but I'm sure I would love it. I mean I like chocolate and LOVE hazelnut...seems like the perfect combination. OH...and I love, love, love Toffifay (which is the exact combination, plus caramel). So there you have it, I'm sold!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Nutella, but it doesn't love me...oh well! When I do have it on the house, I like to make Nutella paninis. I take 2 pieces of bread, slap some Nutella on them, then put some thinly sliced bananas and strawberries on the bread, put them together and put it in the panini press...voila! A little slice of heaven with every bite. This is definitely a once in a while kind of meal.
Finny's gonna be so happy! That's a monster!

Gracie said...

My daughter last year for Xmas got a 5 Kilos jar of Nutella, so keep on searching in shops, there's an even bigger one!!

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

Jenny: I knew I wasn't the only one! ;-)

Pat: Nutella and Fluff... my teeth are hurting just thinking about it! ;-)

Darbs: Great to see you 'round these parts. What a coincidence. Hope you enjoy your first jar...just beware, there's no going back...

Ebony: OOH! Your panini press concoction sounds quite indulgent. Good for you for inventing such a guilty pleasure...everyone needs those things once in a while.

Gracie: I had read that there was a 5 kilo jar in existence...the sheer thought of it is mind-boggling.

Teena said...

That's a lotta nutella :)

Anonymous said...

Found you by NaBloPoMo Randomizer. Yes I know of Nutella... good stuff... but these days I'm watching my weight... anyway I laughed right out loud when you wrote the line about 6 pounds of vegetable oil goodness or whatever. Very funny!

Expat Traveler said...

ok ok - I'm dying because I want that little juice glass size nutella. All we have here is the gigantic version which kids eat up in 2 days flat...

I'll trade you any day please!

Expat Traveler said...

p.s. we used to only get the small size in Switzerland and well, I miss that! I think they should call it portion control or holiday splurge!

mar said...

We only get the tiny "drinking glasses" type of package. Haven't bought it in years, so at least I have saved those calories, lol!

Zenta said...

Three...KILOS...? Droooooool.
I am so moving to Italy. Perhaps I could move into an empty Nutella jar...

Seriously, in case anyone was wondering:
Fresh french bread (or croissant)
Fresh (unsalted) butter
Nutella
Sliced banana

Combine however you see fit to make world's best breakfast sandwich. Or lunch, midnight snack, whatever. Years of research has gone into this.

Hope customs doesn't "confiscate" it! :-D

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

Well, who knew that Nutella was so close to everyone's hearts? I just read today that "chocolate spread" is included in a new directive of things you absolutely cannot carry-on when you depart from any EU airport. So there goes that plan. But if I put it in my suitcase, it gives me room to bring back 3 kilos of American junk food, so see, it's not so bad after all!
BTW, Expat, no problem, I will bring you a little jar too!

African Kelli said...

Oh my gosh that is too funny! Fin isn't going to know what to do with herself!

Anonymous said...

NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You're bringing me a 6 POUND JAR OF NUTELLA!

I'm speechless. I'm positively breathless with anticipation. I'm breaking out into a cold sweat. My waistline is shaking in fear. I will bathe in it.

And I will eat it all, eventually. This I promise you.

(Sidenote: the 200g jar that Ale brought back from the store for me isn't even half empty - even with both hubby and I eating it. That 6lb jar is going to take some dedication.)

Oh, and I love you - sister o' mine. You truly know me.

Dixie said...

During the World Cup in Germany you could buy 2 kilo jars of Nutella, which isn't so huge but the jars were shaped like soccer balls and I could barely hold one in my teensy hands without dropping it and breaking my foot.

Now I'm jonesing for a Nutella and banana sandwich...

Anonymous said...

Nutella...
I love the stuff. However, I wish we had the smaller sized jars here in Canada. It would make me feel like less of a glutton.