The great Nutella taste test

So yes, Nutella is a big deal in my world. I still remember the first time this quasi magic substance crossed my lips, after dipping one cheeky digit in the massive pot in my parents’ friends house. I was no more than four at the time. I love the stuff, and have indulged it so that my daughter is even named after the stuff (one of her middle names is Noisette) as I relied on it heavily when pregnant.
But the thing is, Nutella is pretty evil stuff: check the list of ingredients, and it doesn’t make for pretty reading – especially when they are always listed in order of volume per jar. That means sugar and palm oil account for about 70% of Nutella. There’s cocoa powder, but no chocolate in sight.
That pic shows what the main composition is… Bllleurgh!!!

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They might have pulled the spread over out eyes pretending this was a healthy start to the day, but let’s face it, that’s all poppycocks.
So in this terrible situation, what is the girl to do? Well, I am developing my very own recipe, that’s what, and so far I am pretty chuffed with the results. No, it’s not exactly the same, especially as mine has no added oil (just the oil that naturally comes from the hazelnut themselves), so it’s not as cloying, and it’s a much deeper praline taste AND serious proper chocolate too. But I’m still refining it and not quite ready yet for the big reveal.
What do we do meanwhile? Well I thought I’d try out the existing competition by purchasing fake nutellas from the supermarket, to see if Nutella was really top dog.
And as I was graced by a visit from
Nutella lovers Billie and Jess, I thought this was a perfect opportunity for a blind taste test. And daughter joined in as well of course.

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We tested 4, inc the real thang: Nutella, Sainsbury’s hazelnut spread, nature’s store hazelnut and cocoa spread (they’re at least honest on what’s in there!!) and the newly launched Galaxy hazelnut spread.

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We did it properly, there was no look at the packaging, notes were taken and ranking given. Everyone worked very conscientiously and fairly and we were all unanimous in our verdict.

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And the results? Surprising indeed!
4th place: Nature’s Store Hazelnut and cocoa spread. This was thin tasting, too sweet but not with real chocolate flavour and very runny. We won’t be going back there again. And it still has palm oil!!

3rd place: NUTELLA! That’s correct, it doesn’t even make it to second place! What a shocker!! It came across as good, but generic, and not particularly exciting.

So who’s next?? In 2nd place, we found Galaxy Hazelnut spread. This is very nutty, ‘like a Snickers in a spread’ and taste of nice quality chocolate. Which is doubly ironic because there’s no galaxy choc in there, just cocoa powder again! No palm oil in sight, but a slightly grainy/ solid texture, and the tube presentation was a turn off.

Which leaves us with *** drum roll ***Sainsbury’s hazelnut chocolate spread in first place!!! Who would have thought? Not me, that’s for sure, but we double checked our findings (‘hand me that spoon!!’) and tis true. This spread rules.
It’s the nuttiest of the lot, with a distinct praline taste, really creamy with a fab texture. Like one of these Belgian praline seashells. Palm oil is there, but less than rapeseed oil, so there is an effort made there too. They also note that the palm oil used is from more ethical sources, for what it’s worth.

So thanks to my tasters for helping me in my research, although this was of interest, it still tells me that I have something very special to share with my own recipe…

On this note, I should cocoa!!

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