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.