Empty Calories

Empty Calories: Nutella

nutellaOk, some of you are going to hate me for this, but come the fuck on. Nutella. Really? I don’t know who Nutella boned to become some culinary fetish item, but it must have been some truly nasty business, if ya know what I mean, for it to rise so high.

Let’s look at this for just a second.

1. Nutella is NOT healthy or good for you. It is sugar and chocolate and fat; a liquid candy bar. IDGAF what their commercial says (“With just a touch of cream…”), I’d rather eat a Snickers bar.

2. NUTELLA TASTES EXACTLY LIKE THOSE CRAPPY WAFER COOKIES I HATED WHEN I WAS  KID. Does no one else notice this? Or am I taking crazy pills? Nutella is not a particularly good or sophisticated flavor. It tastes just like those cookies, which incidentally, cost, like, $0.01 to produce and yet Nutella is so damn expensive.

3. The whole European thing. Oy. Like, yes, I was in Europe and tried Nutella before it hit big in US markets and it was mediocre then. And it still is. Stop pretending it’s exotic ambrosia sauce or something.

Here’s the thing: it’s not that I have a problem with people eating Nutella. Go ahead. EAT NUTELLA. Do it. Yum. Or whatever. It’s that this shit is so damn overhyped, I get an aneurysm just thinking about it. It’s chocolate spread. Which tastes like shitty wafers. And is made of sugar and not particularly good quality chocolate. No one is walking around being all… EFFIN’ A MAN. EFFIN’ A, THIS MUHFFUGGIN’ PEANUT FUGGIN’ BUTTER. EFFIN’ A.

Have you ever worked with chocolate? Here’s the thing about chocolate… it does not stay a liquid at room temperature. There is some voodoo shit going on in those Nutella jars ’cause that ain’t real. Okay. Either there is a shit ton of cream in that stuff (“With just a touch of cream…”) or there are weird ass things in that spread because I find it hard to believe that natural ingredients made up that room temp liquid sans variation.

So, go! Go spread Nutella on your fuckin’ pancakes or on your baguettes, or on your whatever carbohydrate you spread it on, but just calm down. Realize you are spreading a candy bar on your toast and quit acting like you are eating a delicacy.




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About Brett Sandusky

Brett Sandusky is the co-founder of Stuyvesant Supper Club, a clandestine restaurant, in Brooklyn where molecular nouveau American meets traditional French cuisine. He is also a publisher, a knitter, and a French literature scholar. Brett is interested in the cultural impact of food on our lives, food equity, the locavore movement, and making everything from scratch. Follow Brett on Twitter: @bsandusky

  • Jeremiah N

    Thought I was gonna disagree with you completely, because who hates Nutella? NO ONE.

    But you’re right.

  • Nancy

    This article/rant made my day! I don’t eat Nutella, but my daughter did- until she discovered essentially what you did too. Best laugh I’ll have today- thanks for sharing!

  • Clovia

    Yeah, that would be the soy lecithin that keeps it all creamy and mixed. Just like with peanut butter. Peanut butter separates–unless it has soy in it.

  • klaudy

    It’s just great marketing. Like crocks – the most hideous shoe that’s ever seen the light of day. I like nutella, but then I like anything sweet I can put on toast.. Though, now that I think about it, you may be right about that cheap cookie thing.

  • Shannon McIntyre

    It’s all marketing, and our tendency to fetishize anything from a magical foreign land. THAT SAID, when I was in France, there was some crazy-ass cereal that was basically Quaker Oatmeal Squares stuffed with Nutella, which turned the cereal milk into crack cocaine, and that shit was amazing.

  • EmmaK

    I love Nutella and cannot have it in the house or I would binge on it – but enough of my personal life. It was so funny when those ads used to be on where they’d pretend Nutella was a healthy breakfast food for kids. how did they get away with that? I think those ads are no longer on after a class action law suit http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-5

  • scorpstar77

    I adore Nutella. It is absolute crack to me. I have never, however, been under the impression that it was healthy…and I don’t know anyone who thinks that it is. I’m curious as to why you think anyone thinks it’s anything other than a spreadable candy bar. That’s all I’ve ever thought of it. I just happen to fucking LOVE that spreadable candy bar. I also like wafer cookies, for the record. :)

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  • Mary Chris Escobar

    I’m a fan of the spreadable candy bar (with no delusions that it is anything other than that), but this still made me laugh out loud. You are also my husband’s hero, for echoing everything he has been saying about my obsession with Nutella for years!

  • Ibex

    Erm… Just because you hate the taste of something, doesn’t mean you should bash it and shame people who eat it. It’s not called ‘personal taste’ for nothing. I could easily substitute Nutella in your article with say… bacon. It’s not healthy, tastes mainly of salt and is basically a bit of charred meat. Nothing special about it. Why are people treating it like some sort of mana from heaven?
    But that’s my point – it’s personal taste. What’s wrong with people being excited about the food they eat, be it Nutella, or bacon, or anything else?

  • Bob Bires

    As a side note, those Trader Joe’s chocolate hazelnut cookies are terrific!