User post: This is just nuts

I have a confession to make. No, it's not about my reptile feet. I hope you're sitting down for this one.

I just tried Nutella for the first time last year. What.

Stop yelling.

For some reason, Nutella wasn't ever on the table of this Asian American growing up in South Central. Spam sandwiches, yes. Fancy spread made with hazelnuts and a 'hint of cocoa'? Not so much. I don't think I'd even heard of it until a few years ago, and even then I figured it was just some other mutant form of peanut butter. You know, peanut butter with different nuts or something like that. Hey, calm down.

So last year I finally gave in and bought a jar just to see what all the fuss was about. So that I wouldn't be left out at gatherings when the talk turned to Nutella and all it's amazing qualities. Seriously, I've seen people's eyes glaze over when they start talking about this stuff, saying things like, "If Nutella were a man I'd never say no to sex." And I'm all, "C'mon, people, it's just a hazelnut spread with a hint of cocoa." It's not like it's Baconnaise, or anything.

(Note: This post was not sponsored by Nutella, nor have they provided any product to entice me, although now that I'm thinking about it there is a cool Nutella spreader that they could possibly send me if they're feeling friendly. It says it's "able to reach the sides and even the corners of your Nutella jar!" which seems awfully handy.)

Another confession: Nutella did not overwhelm me. While I'm fond of dipping a pretzel into it or spreading it on a graham cracker, I'm not ready to say it's the best thing to come along since peanut butter. Or Spam.

Wow, put down the torches.

But you'll be happy to hear that my girls are totally down with the whole hazelnut-cocoa experience.

They've developed an overwhelming obsession with it, what seems to be a frenzied desire to make up for all of those years they lived without it due to their mother's ignorance of European non-peanut spreads. The jar is always on the counter and never makes its way back into the pantry - it's as if the parting would be too much to bear. I even bought another jar last week before the previous one was empty, because my teenager looked inside it and said with some panic in her voice, "Please buy another one. SERIOUSLY WE MIGHT RUN OUT." Those last words were said with such gravity, as if the absence of the Nutella might lead to some sort of condiment apocalypse.

So now we're a Nutella family - Nutella on toast, Nutella on crackers, Nutella crepes. (My husband even made my daughter a Nutella sandwich the other day, which just seemed so wrong to me - isn't that just a chocolate sandwich?) But more importantly, I feel like I can confidently join in on any pro-Nutella conversations that inevitably break out at fancy dinners and cocktail parties and no longer have to feel ashamed of my lack of chocolate-infused-toast-topping knowledge.

Although I still say it doesn't hold a candle to canned meat.

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Other posts on food and edible things:

Spam: It's What's For Dinner. No, Really.

Thanksgiving Recipes: The Unwavering and the Unforgivable

Eating In New York: Crack Pie and Great Balls of Food

Can't We All Just Have A Sandwich?


Marsha Takeda-Morrison is the author of the blog Sweatpantsmom, which is where you'll find her when she isn't searching out new and exciting things to spread on her toast.