[Spreadable Gianduja]

It’s all in the packaging, is it not? Because really, if you look at it from an objective stance, this is quite simply, well, Nutella. For about six times the price of regular industrial Nutella, as purchased by yours truly, in a moment of sheer giving-in-to-temptation, at the beauty/home store Résonances.

Ah, yes. But. It is in a tube you see, a nice, toothpaste-like, glittery golden tube with red lettering. And this makes it portable, easily spreadable, perfect for decorating and topping and minute preparations (say, to fill the cavity of a raspberry or to sandwich together small butter cookies) — not to mention the obvious, which involves direct contact between your pursed lips and the end of the tube, and some very rapidly vanishing chocolate hazelnut cream.

It is made by Pastiglie Leone, the 150-year-old Italian company from Turin that makes the renowned Leone pastilles. Just like Nutella (invented by Pietro Ferrero who was from that same city), Gianduioso is the spreadable adaptation of the Piedmontese specialty called Gianduiotto, a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate and hazelnut confection shaped like a tiny bar in a golden wrapper. This also explains the name Gianduioso, as a portmanteau of “Gianduiotto cremoso”.

In French or in English Gianduiotto is more often called Gianduja (also spelled Gianduia), which from what I understand refers to that blend of chocolate and toasted hazelnuts (so Gianduiotti are in fact little bites of Gianduja). The name was given in honor of Gianduja (derived from Girolamo della Grigna), a masked character in the traditional Turin Carnival.

In addition to the tube factor and the whole mass-production vs. micro-import pricing aspect, another big difference between our two spreadable chocolate friends resides in the ingredients’ list: Gianduioso contains sugar, PGI (Protected Geographical Indication: a bit like an AOC, but European) Piedmontese hazelnuts, cocoa paste, cocoa, natural vanilla pods and GMO-free soy lecithin. Nutella, on the other hand, is made of: sugar, peanut oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey, partially-hydrogenated peanut oil, soy lecithin, vanillin. Hm. See anything you don’t like in there?

And that reminds me, I’ve had a recipe for homemade nutella in my files forever, biding its time. I may just have to give it a try, sooner than later. You’ll be the first to know!

  • Yes, packaging, you’re right. The brand Delicabar (Bon Marche) makes nearly the same in silver color. I tasted it at “le salon du chocolat” with Alisa (7 euros the tube). At the end of my tasting I told the woman : “Oh, It tastes like Nutella !”. She was really upset with me and told me that it was not the same and bla bla bla. I felt really guilty but five minutes later as we were far away from the Delicabar, Alisa and I began to laugh about the story.

  • Alisa

    I fully support your buying ANYTHING based on the packaging. And if ever given the chance I hope for the same support in return. :)

  • like nutella? hazelnut aftertaste? please tell more…

  • sandee

    oh, home made nutella! do post the recipe…I’d love to try it since Nutella has trans fats.

  • feste

    Oh please, share the recipe! I must recreate that flavor I remember… mmm…

  • Rachel

    I agree with the comment about the nutella ingredients. I was going to forever avoid this haunting chocolate spread until I found a most acceptable substitute. In the U.S. there is a discount chain called Aldi. They have a store brand chocolate hazelnut spread that contains….Sugar, vegetable oil (in the U.S. this is usually soybean oil), hazelnuts (13%), skimmed milk powder, fat reduced cocoa, emulsifier: lecithin, flavouring.
    I have to admit that the last jar was eaten off a spoon.

  • Ana Cardia

    Yes, yes, Homemade Nutella!! Pleeeeease let us know when you try it, and would you share the recipe??
    Thanks for the amazing website, I love visiting Chocolate and Zucchini and reading your posts!

  • nbm

    Are you sure about gianduja being a brand name? I could swear that’s the sign on every bin of chocolate-hazelnut gelato I’ve ever seen. Perhaps I need to fly to Italy at once to do a little research

  • All – Of course, once I test the recipe I will share it! Have I ever kept anything from you? :)

    Nbm – You are right. I have searched again, and it seems that gianduja refers to the blend of chocolate and hazelnuts itself — this had somehow escaped me when I looked previously. (I’ve corrected the post.) But yes, just to be sure, a little field research is definitely needed!

  • Sue

    1) Post the nutella recipe!

    2) How do we get some of that in the States? I tried to follow links to the maker’s web site, but their shop online button doesn’t work!

    It is a sad day for fans of good chocolate.

  • Oh, yes, please Clotilde – put up the homemade nutella recipe, complete with your assessment. :) I’d love to be able to make it for my husband, who likes Nutella well enough, except that it’s overpriced here in our local market. We’ve taken to making our own nut butters for the same reason, and it’d be lovely to be able to make Nutella.

  • savina from turin

    Clotilde, I’m awed, you even managed a link to pastiglie Leone, sweets practically only people from Turin (and lots of people from Turin) eat in Italy. And yes, giunduja is the blend of chocolate and hazelnuts, giandujotti the chocolate pieces made of this blend, brands can vary.

  • faith

    What a wonderful post! I spent a summer in Turin, and gianduia was one of the great pleasures there. “Chocolate-hazelnut” is not a very good description of gianduia; the regional specificity of the taste differs from a lot of chocolate/hazelnut combos you see in the States. The hazelnut flavor is stronger, perhaps?

    One of my favorite memories of Turin revolves around trying as many different kinds of gianduia as possible. There is one gelateria, downtown – I can’t remember the name! – that is famous throughout Italy I believe.

    Also, another wonderful use is bicerin, the chocolate-hazelnut drink made in all the cafes. Every one I tasted was made a little differently… There was a bicerin liqueur that was produced locally.

  • The Aldi brand nutella copy isn’t bad at all. Aldi started off in Germany, where the per capita nutella consumption is around 5 kilos a day.* Often I even see Germans eat nutella-like spreads on top of a layer of (unsalted) butter. They have shrugged off my bewilderment by saying that during and after the war, they didn’t have butter, so it’s perfectly logical for them to make up for that loss of 60 years past.

    Nutella tastes really good with cherries. Is it a coincidence that gianduiotto, along with those famous cherries, are both from Piedmont? No, it isn’t. Ferraro made them both famous. ;)

    * Statistic entirely fabricated.

    Il gianduiotto


    Bitter chocolate powder 80g
    Eggs 2
    Sugar 150g
    Butter 100g
    Amaretti (cookies) 100g
    Roasted almonds 50g
    Whipped cream 1 cup

    Take one whole egg and a yolk in a bowl. Add the sugar and beat the mixture until it becomes foamy. At this point, add the chocolate powder and mix well. Chop the butter into small pieces and put them into a cup. Soften the butter by heating the cup in the steam from a boiling kettle.

    Incorporate the sugar mixture by mixing well with a wooden spoon or a whisk. The butter has to turn into cream and unify perfectly with the other ingredients.
    Finely mince the almonds, crumble the amaretti, and add both to the cream, mixing constantly.

    Feed the mixture to a charlotte mould (translators note: apparently something like a ramekin, or a dish for crème brûlée, any experts?) with an oiled piece of paper, empty the mixture and carefully smooth down the surface. Let cool in the refrigerator for a few hours.

    When serving, empty the mould’s contents onto a dessert tray and decorate with whipped cream.

    Translated from:

    (Recette traduite en vitesse, mais toujours compréhesible à mon avis)

  • And the French comment less compréhensible… I meant to delete it when I decided to comment instead of e-mail.

  • Lilia Dignan

    Lovely, Clotilde! I will watch out for the posting of the homemade nutella recipe. This all reminds me of a confection I used to make – bittersweet chocolate with hazelnut butter and binded with some crushed wafers flavored with hazelnuts, cut into small squares. I should make this again as I am now salivating.
    Merci..Thanks..Danke..Gracias..Salamat.. Gratie..Arigato..

  • Ann/brighidsdaughter

    Chocolate + hazelnuts = Food of the Gods!

    I have a mental picture of you sneaking the tube from your bag for a furtive taste of this paste to counteract the stress of rush-hour metro rides, much like men in times past would whip little silver flasks from their pockets for a quick nip of whiskey.

    Please blog about the homemade version, I’d love to make it!

  • Hey, the elegant tube stuff is vegan! We don’t do dairy in our house, and we have a lot of friends who are vegan. If I can figure out a way to score some Gianduioso, it will make me sooooo popular! Thank you Clotilde, all this blog fun and now instant popularity!

  • Zelda

    I am not a fan of Nutella, but am a fan of great packaging. Can you provide the address for the store, Resonances? I tried to go to their site, but it doesn’t seem to be working. thanks!

  • Kateri

    A lovely memory of my one visit to Paris is the street vendor near our hotel who sold crepes. You could chose from about 85 different fillings. That was my introduction to Nutella and it was decadent and heavenly. I had to have a Nutella crepe every evening.

    But on thinking about it, on my NEXT visit to Paris, I think I will at least try a nibble of a Calvados-soaked apple filled crepe… (I’ve been thinkinig about this for eight years now…)

  • mary

    oh i love leone pastilles! yum. gianduja sounds wonderful, too.

  • This looks exactly like what we have in Slovakia(called Pikao) – it is a rich chocolate flavoured condensed milk. I love it!

  • savina

    Faith, you might mean caffè Florio, a ninteenth century cafe where the first Prime Minister of unified Italy had his hot chocolate, or Grom,, more recently opened, close to the central station, according to some the country’s best ice cream

  • Ralph

    Peter, the quality (or lack thereof) of house brands of chains like Aldi etc. is not that clear-cut. My first summer job was flipping gingerbread cookies for glazing at one of the big gingerbread producers in my home town in Germany, and they had one single production line there. The cookies slowly moved towards the end, where a single wrapping machine with slots for wrappers for six different brands was waiting. Depending on what was needed the cookies turned there and then into Schoeller Lebkuchen (back then about DM 2.90 for 6 cookies), the prestigious Haberlein Metzger brand (DM 4.90) or cheapo Aldi house brand cookies (DM 1.90). Stonyfield Farms does the same here in the US (Check out the yoghurt at Trader Joe’s, which, by the way, also belongs to Aldi…)

  • lee

    For those in the US, I recently discovered a nutella copycat at Whole Foods called choconut (Rapunzel is the brand). It has no evil ingredients and may even be organic or fair trade (can’t remember). It is delicious- not quite as sweet but but much more hazelnutty than nutella. It’s not cheap but I think it is worth it!

  • tanvi

    on choconut (see lee’s comment above): its organic and has no trans fats! it is relatively expensive but if you just cant live without chocolate-hazelnut spread you may get the non-trans fat variety (and perhaps feel less guilty in the process…hehe)

  • joan

    “the cavity of a raspberry”…I’m imagining that in Latin…painted somewhere…certainly on old wood…further drooling…and then there’s Vegemite in a tube which is something else again! looks like tar and tastes like either adore it or not…fresh bread, hard butter, dabs of the black stuff..heaven..

  • swan

    Growing up with Nutella, ’till now I never realized non-Nutella countries even exist!

  • bigeau

    If you are worried about what goes into Nutella, try Green & Blacks Organic Hazlenut Chocolate Spread. I eat it as a treat by the teaspoonfull.

  • lexy

    is there anywhere to get the gianduia cream in a tube anywhere online or in the u.s.?

    it’s true – the germans love their nutella – i was visiting a family in heidelberg some time ago, and we would come back from a night of beer drinking to DEVOUR dark bread just slathered with nutella. i still crave it now. and cannot find similar bread to this day!

  • Natalie

    well, I love Nutella, but it’s the trans fat that prevents me from making it a guilt-free habit. . . I made my own nutella once, and it turned out okay, but the texture wasn’t the same–a little gummy! Looking at the website and the nutritional info, nutella in France doesn’t have hydrogenated fats, while the N.A. version does! Hmmm. . .

  • alain

    PLEASE !!!! Post the homemade nutella recipe. We could all try it out and why not compare our notes after. Pleazzzzzz

  • Joanne

    I was thinking Nutella would be a healthy snack for my toddler, until I looked at the ingredients list. Please post your homemade recipe PLEASE so I can nourish my son without the bad bits!!!

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