Apparently the fabulously delicious chocolate-hazelnut spread turns 50 today(?)! Although, as a result of all those years spent in Belgium, my current favourite spreadable guilty pleasure is Côte d'Or's Noir de Noir chocolate (dark chocolate! yummy), for years it was most definitely the chocolate-hazelnut delight that is Nutella! :o)
There's an interesting article on the origins of Nutella on the BBC website. I remember that I had no idea it was made by the Ferrero company (that's what I get for not reading labels), and that my sister and I figured it out by doing a tasting test of our own to compare Nutella with the chocolate inside the Ferrero Rochers and deciding it was the same so the same company must have made them. Just one of the many wacky things we "experimented" with growing up. :p
I remember very well the first time I tasted Nutella, it caused quite an impression! Summer of 1989, I was spending the summer "on my own" with various friends of the family in France (and then 2 weeks with my grandparents in Spain). Back then I was a very picky eater (I can just hear any family/friends currently reading this going "what do you mean back then?!" Ok, so I'm still a bit picky), and I didn't like much of anything and was your typical annoying pre-teen who didn't even want to taste anything new (oh my! the wonderful foods I missed out on! silly me). So the mom of this family I was staying with in Brittany was a bit desperate and when she asked me what I liked I said "peanut butter" (of course! *sigh*), so she went off to try and find some "beurre de cacahuète" for me. Mission impossible back then, so she came back with a pot of Nutella and was like "try this"... As they say, the rest is history! ;o) I also remember eating an entire "baguette viennoise" with Nutella for my "goûter" a couple of weeks later with the next family I was staying with... A love affair had begun!
Back in Mexico finding Nutella was a mission impossible. I don't think there was any to be found until a few years later. Possibly '93 at the earliest. I do remember how excited I felt when my mom first found some in a store in Mexico! It became this special treat to have at home from time to time. I also convinced my little sister that she didn't like it so I wouldn't have to share! Something she has held against me for years (she finally really tasted it when we no longer lived together and was like "whaaat?! But this is delicious! Grrrrr!). My last year of High School in the Lycée Français, every once in a while I would take a jar of Nutella with me to school, and before going in I'd stop at the bakery across the street and buy half a dozen fresh "bolillos" (like mini-baguettes) and once in class let my friends know about the "goodies". Then we'd get together at our first recess and enjoy!!! Good times! :o)
My favourite way to eat Nutella (or the Côte d'Or) now? Either in a crêpe, or on a sandwich of toasted bread: Nutella on one slice, peanut butter on the other! Decadently delightful! :o)