La bella figura di Nutella

Our original jar of Nutella from this summer, almost empty

While we were in Garfagnana this summer, we found a commemorative jar of Nutella, the Italian chocolate hazelnut spread. It was designed like the old American jelly glasses of the 1960s, so that it could be used as a glass when the spread was gone. But its perky Esperienza Italia 150 design was much more attractive than the average American jelly jar.  In commemoration of Italy’s 150 anniversary of unification this year, it had a little narrative about Italy’s design icons–the Vespa, the Moka pot, etc.–with graphics substituted for some of the words.  And most charmingly, it included a picture of Torino, the home of Nutella and now our home, on the front.

Sarie and her two friends who were staying with us jealously rationed out the contents of that small Nutella jar.  After it was empty (probably a day later), we washed it out and took it back to New York with us.  It’s on a boat at port in Genova as I write.

The “Paesaggi” Nutella jar from earlier this week.  Never mind the pigs.  I think Sarie was making some sort of statement.

A couple of days ago, I was in a supermarket and saw different Nutella jar from the series, so I bought it.  This one featured Venice, and was labelled “Il paesaggi,” or “The Countryside.”  It featured the freccia rossa (the fast train Bob takes to Milan), the leaning tower of Pisa, and the beautiful blue of the sea.

Need I say that that jar is already almost half empty?  And this time there’s only one person eating it.

After finding this second jar, I got curious about how many designs there were in the series and looked them up on the internet.  Turns out there are four of them, and they are about to be replaced by Smurf jars.  (Not nearly as cute in my opinion.)  And design junkies love the Esperienza Italia series. So yesterday when I was out shopping and saw a third design, with Florence on the front, I snapped it up, too.  It’s my personal favorite because it’s about art and literature.  Though I’m very fond of the original design one, too.

As I was about to go to the counter (or pivot, really, as the store was very small) with my find, I noticed, behind the other Nutella jars, the fourth and final jar in the series. I greedily swiped it up and started to plop it on the counter.  But then I thought about Sarie eating half a jar of Nutella in twenty-four hours, and about my own American acquisitiveness.  It sort of took the fun out of the search.  So I put it back.

But somewhere in our future, I hope, is that last jar of commemorative Nutella, the one with Naples on it.


9 thoughts on “La bella figura di Nutella

  1. Oh, I love a cute jar (w/lid!) and I am impressed with your fortitude in putting one back. We seem to always have Nutella in the pantry and do you know I’ve never tasted it? I am not really sure why that is because everyone says it is great (including my Anna who is the main partaker). I think it has something to do with look of it. Now, if it was in cute jars I might have to give it a try.

  2. The jar is fun and interesting and so is your post! And I laughed at the pigs–they certainly get around and lead interesting lives. I have to say, too, that I love Nutella out of any jar. It’s my favorite post-hike thing to eat! After Melissa and I finished a super-long, climbing hike in Yosemite and arrived back at our campsite, we sat in front of our cooler and ate spoonfuls of Nutella. It wasn’t dignified, but it was delicious! 🙂

  3. Ahhh Nutella. I’ve forbidden the stuff here at our place….. Unfortunately in regards to this particular food item I have an utter and complete lack of self-control. :-/ Sarie and I must be kindred spirits. 🙂

  4. Leslie and Jody, if you haven’t tried Nutella recently, it’s very addictive! I don’t start eating it very often, but when I do, I find it hard to stop. (Which is why I, and Lynn too it seems, try not to get started.) It makes any food into a dessert, especially fruit, and has a nice, clingy texture for spreading and dipping. We used to serve it at fellowship group with strawberries, and rarely had leftovers. But Italians eat it on bread for breakfast.

    Susan, I think you’re onto something there with the hikes. Torino is near the Alps, so perhaps that’s what they made it for!

    I think a confession is in order on my part: I went back to the store, maybe as soon as the next day, and bought that last jar. Thankfully, we haven’t eaten it yet. But I think it was a good thing I got it, because the sesquicentennial is ending this month, and here in the ‘burbs it’s all Smurfs now!

    I feel so patriotic having the entire set.

  5. I am very glad you went back and got the last jar!

    I didn’t realize Nutella was Italian; since I started buying it while living in Germany, I always thought it was German. The Germans eat it like we eat peanut butter. German women even told me how “good” (as in nutritious) it was for kids. I never figured that out — it is chocolate after all. We always ate it on graham crackers, but Germans eat it for breakfast as well. I have a delicious hazelnut icebox pie recipe that uses Nutella : -) and roasted hazelnuts…am enjoying reading your posts and look forward to seeing your new kitchen.

    1. I did not notice my name came up as Big Susan aka Ms. Webster….only one person calls me Big Susan, a tiny Asian friend from church who is also named Susan aka Little Susan…

  6. The pigs are hilarious! We love Nutella and especially like it layered on a piece of toast with quark on top. Alas, quark is not to be found in the US. Oddly enough, I dreamed last night that I bumped into a friend somewhere and she had found quark at a local grocery store. How funny is that!

    1. Lorri, nice to hear from you! I think I did buy quark somewhere in New York, or something very much like it. Here the ricotta is good I don’t even care about anything else. But I do sometimes dream of crunchy natural peanut butter.

      The pigs are probably too much of a location joke to translate, but I put them in now and then anyway, because they’re such a longstanding tradition at this point.

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