I bet you never equated Nutella with anything English, right? After all, it is made in Italy and many Italian children have been raised on Nutella and bread sandwiches as an after school snack! Nutella was created in Italy, back in the 1940’s, by a Piemontese pastry maker named Pietro Ferrero.
He had the ingenious idea to incorporate hazelnuts with cocoa beans to extend the chocolate, which was in short supply because of World War II rations. His original recipe mixed toasted hazelnuts (which are abundant in Piemonte, Italy) with cocoa butter and vegetable oils. He called this delicious concoction “Pasta Gianduja” (gianduja is hazelnut in Italian). Then in 1949, he changed the original recipe to make it easier to spread on bread. This became known as “Supercrema Gianduja.”
So, I know you’re just dying to find out where this English connection comes in? Well, in 1964, because hazelnuts were becoming so popular, the Ferrero company decided to change the name to “Nutella”…a combination of the English word “nut” and “ella”. “Nut” was used to make it clear that it was made of nuts (and not just chocolate), and the ending “ella” to give it a softer ending. So there you have it – an Italian product with an English name! I guess they knew that English would one day be the international language and they were tapping into a whole new population to sell their product to! Now that’s what I call SMART MARKETING!