How did WW2 make Nutella what it is today?

| David Lewis | War

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During WW2 a shortage of chocolate in Italy drove cocoa prices up. In turn, this price surge drove one Pietro Ferrero – Nutella’s Italian creator – to look for a cheaper alternative.

He decided to combine hazelnuts – which were cheap and easily available locally – with just a little cocoa, thus creating the lovable Nutella flavor we know today. 

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention 🙂

Bonus Fact: Nutella began its life as a solid product that could be sliced and served on bread or separately. But, due to mothers complaining that their kids threw away the “nutritious” bread and ate only the chocolate, Ferrero prepared a spreadable version … and the rest is history.

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And for those of who are chocolate history enthusiasts: 

The Mayans were probably the first to use cocoa beans for food. The Aztecs were also early consumers of chocolate. They would make bitter   (sugar-free) beverages from ground cocoa beans, sometimes with spicy pepper and vanilla. This drink was used as an aphrodisiac and considered to be a cure for various diseases, primarily for abdominal pain. Back then, for Europeans, this bitter drink was considered an “acquired taste”.

The first to import cocoa to Europe was Hernan Cortes. He brought cocoa beans back to Spain as a gift to King Carlos I after noticing that the locals treat these beans as very valuable. 

However, it was Armando de Soto that a  century later, introduced the cocoa fruit to the rest of the continent. It was then that the Europeans added sugar to the bitter beverage, thus creating the chocolate as we know it. In the 17th century, the cocoa drink was considered a commodity of luxury among Europeans.

In 1828, a Dutchman named Conrad van Houten invented a method to extract the fat out of the cocoa beans and make cocoa powder and cocoa butter. This process enabled the creation of modern chocolate tablets. 

As far as is known, the English Joseph Fry in 1847 was the first to make edible chocolate. Daniel Peter, a Swiss sweetmaker, began experimenting with adding milk into the chocolate. In 1875, he marketed the first milk chocolate and helped to develop Henri Nestle’s milk powder process. Swiss Rudolf Lindt invented the heating and mixing process of the mixture that allowed the smooth and uniform texture of the chocolate candy.

The origin of the word chocolate is in the Nawatel language of the Aztecs, which produced from the seeds a drink called ‘Chocolatal’ (xocolātl, literally – “cocoa water”).

 

And for those of who are chocolate history enthusiasts: 

The Mayans were probably the first to use cocoa beans for food. The Aztecs were also early consumers of chocolate. They would make bitter   (sugar-free) beverages from ground cocoa beans, sometimes with spicy pepper and vanilla. This drink was used as an aphrodisiac and considered to be a cure for various diseases, primarily for abdominal pain. Back then, for Europeans, this bitter drink was considered an “acquired taste”.

The first to import cocoa to Europe was Hernan Cortes. He brought cocoa beans back to Spain as a gift to King Carlos I after noticing that the locals treat these beans as very valuable. 

However, it was Armando de Soto that a  century later, introduced the cocoa fruit to the rest of the continent. It was then that the Europeans added sugar to the bitter beverage, thus creating the chocolate as we know it. In the 17th century, the cocoa drink was considered a commodity of luxury among Europeans.

In 1828, a Dutchman named Conrad van Houten invented a method to extract the fat out of the cocoa beans and make cocoa powder and cocoa butter. This process enabled the creation of modern chocolate tablets. 

As far as is known, the English Joseph Fry in 1847 was the first to make edible chocolate. Daniel Peter, a Swiss sweetmaker, began experimenting with adding milk into the chocolate. In 1875, he marketed the first milk chocolate and helped to develop Henri Nestle’s milk powder process. Swiss Rudolf Lindt invented the heating and mixing process of the mixture that allowed the smooth and uniform texture of the chocolate candy.

The origin of the word chocolate is in the Nawatel language of the Aztecs, which produced from the seeds a drink called ‘Chocolatal’ (xocolātl, literally – “cocoa water”).