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Tips & Info

Finding a Good Jar of Nutella

Nutella is Nutella, right? For most people, this is true. However, this creamy, rich chocolate hazelnut spread has a cult following in America, and for Nutella connoisseurs, not all Nutella is created equal. Here are a few good tips and tricks to finding the good stuff!

1.  Look for the imported Nutella that is sold in glass jars. Domestic Nutella is manufactured in Canada and sold in plastic jars here in the United States. While the contents are the same, the flavor is different. A few years ago, the Washington Post did a side by side taste test and ingredient comparison. Even though the weights and measurements were identical, the author noted the flavors were indeed different, with the imported jar of Nutella having a more balanced and rich taste. Imported Nutella can often be found in Italian specialty markets.

2.  Ideally, the imported jar of Nutella will have a label written in Italian. Glass jars of Nutella aren’t all equal either. The Recipes of Italy team has seen imported Nutella manufactured throughout Europe and sold in the U.S. including Italy, Germany and Poland. A label written in Italian is most likely an authentic Italian import. Look for “Prodotta d’Italia” or “Prodotto Italiano” printed somewhere on the label.

3.  Always check the expiration date, no matter the jar you are buying, but particularly on an import. There should always be an expiration date on the jar. If you cannot locate a date, do not buy it. It could be counterfeit or long past its shelf life.

4.  Changes could be coming. In 2016, the European Food Safety Authority declared palm oil, which makes up 20% of a jar of Nutella, to be a potential carcinogen. In response, many food manufacturers in Italy such as Barilla have voluntarily changed their formulas and are now introducing products without this ingredient. Executives at Nutella, on the other hand, stand by their use of palm oil, stating that any substitutions would produce an inferior product. It remains to be seen whether public pressure will force their hand. Late last year, sales of Nutella dropped in Italy by 3%, but they remain unchanged throughout the rest of the world. In America, palm oil is still “generally recognized as safe” in food products. Therefore, should Nutella change their formula in Italy, the tables may be turned and the American version of Nutella may become the superior jar.

Looking for a quick and easy Nutella dessert? Find our Nutella Puffs recipe here!