It wasn’t the fabulous architecture, or the pastoral mountain setting. It wasn’t the fact that it’s home to the mysterious Shroud of Turin, and the 2006 Winter Olympics. No, I made up my mind to visit Turin, or Torino when I heard it was home to Nutella.
Nutella, if you’ve never broken down and done it, is fabulous.
Think chocolatey peanut butter, except the peanuts are roasted hazelnuts, so you get that decadent, creamy, chocolatey/hazelnut taste we’ve all come to love – okay, I should only speak for myself – at least me and my mom and a few million others have come to love in Ferrero Rocher and a host of other chocolates.
But instead of delicate little foil-wrapped chocolates that people can count at a glance as missing from the tray, think spoonfuls: big delicious creamy, indulgent spoonfuls of Nutella straight from the jar.
Besides being absolutely perfect for getting you through a dark and snowy night in Whistler, or Torino for that matter, said spoonfuls are virtually impossible to inventory as missing. At least not until you jump on the scales next week or the bottom of the jar shows, at which point your roommate will shout an accusingly loud "hey" if she’s next into the jar.
The first time I spied Nutella was in the kitchen of a cozy little farmhouse I’d rented in southern France, not so very far from the Italian border. It was sitting on the shelf along with a host of other sticky condiment orphans various travelers had left behind, and to tell you the truth, it looked a bit disturbing. The unmistakable brown of chocolate had first caught my eye, but on closer examination, the oils had separated in the late summer heat.
When I read the label I thought, yuck. The first ingredient is sugar, followed by peanut oil. Overall, it can put you in range of half your daily fat caloric intake if you fool around with it for a while.
The other thing that really put me off was the label illustration. Someone should pick up the phone to the Nutella folks and tell them to fire their art director, for the little rendering that depicts the product in use shows a hyper-glossy unappetizing brown smear on a slice of white bread that makes you want to run for the nearest apple or carrot stick.
But oh, Dr. Weil, where were you when I needed you to save me from a life of Nutella sin?
Instead of putting the jar back on the shelf like any good Canadian girl should, I opened it and stuck my finger in. I have been rightfully shunned from the gardens of paradisal nutrition and free-flowing arteries ever since.