La bella figura di Nutella

by Laura A

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.