Nutella spread, in its earliest form, was created in the 1940s by Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. At the time, there was very little chocolate because cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. So Mr. Ferrero used hazelnuts, which are plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy (northwest), to extend the chocolate supply.
The original version of Nutella spread was called "pasta gianduja," pasta which means paste, and "gianduja" which is the name of a carnival character famous to the region, a character that can be found in the first advertisements for the product.
Pasta gianduja was actually made in loaves and wrapped in tinfoil, so it could be sliced and placed on bread for mothers to make sandwiches for their children. But many children, as you could imagine, would throw away the bread and only eat the pasta gianduja
So Mr. Ferrero altered the product into a paste that came in a jar, so it could be spread on the bread. This then became known as "supercrema gianduja," because it was a spreadable version of the gianduja. "Supercrema gianduja" was eventually renamed "Nutella" in 1964, with the origin of the word being "nut" and the "ella" giving it a soft ending.
From the start, Nutella spread was well received, since it was a less expensive way for people to enjoy something that tasted so good... a kilo of chocolate at the time was 6 times the cost of a kilo of pasta gianduja. So Nutella was a product that everyone could, and did, enjoy. The product became so popular that Italian food stores started a service called "The Smearing". Children could go to their local food store with a slice of bread for a "smear" of "supercrema gianduja."
Since European families and visitors have enjoyed Nutella as a breakfast staple on bread and toast for more than 40 years, the Ferrero Company wanted to introduce this traditional Italian breakfast item to the U.S. market in order to share the enjoyment of such a unique, convenient and tasty product. Nutella was first imported from Italy to the U.S. over 25 years ago in 1983 and was initially distributed in the Northeastern part of the country. The popularity of Nutella has grown steadily over the years and it is now available across the United States. In addition, Nutella is also marketed and sold all over the world.
The unique formula of Nutella hazelnut spread continues to be made from the combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa. In addition, Nutella has no artificial colors or preservatives. It can be found in grocery stores, warehouse clubs and mass merchandisers and is generally found near the peanut butter and sweet spreads section.
When used in moderation with complementary foods, Nutella can form a part of a balanced breakfast. It can be a quick and easy way to encourage kids to eat whole grains, such as whole wheat toast, English muffins, toaster waffles and bagels. With the unique taste of Nutella, kids may think they are eating a treat for breakfast while moms are helping to nourish their children with whole grains!
Nowadays, there is a World Nutella Day to commemorate the life of the amazingly delicious spread.
(Information from www.nutellausa.com)