[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!


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