The list of foods with a national observance day is long and fraught with marketing gimmicks.
Many are designated by the government and are the result of petitions introduced by lobbyists, trade organizations and persistent constituents. The resulting list is a marketer's dream to promote brand recognition — not to mention the boost in sales from the publicity.
One day that has garnered world recognition and is eagerly anticipated by thousands of enthusiasts is Feb. 5, World Nutella Day.
This year the Italian chocolate-hazelnut treasure will be celebrating its seventh global observance. Two American food writers who live in Italy – Sara Rosso and Michelle Fabio – began the holiday in 2007.
The movement has inspired a cookbook and a larger worldwide following. (The book is available on Amazon.com as a free download.)
All of this recognition was accomplished without government or official brand endorsement. The company that makes Nutella, Ferrero, S.p.A., is not associated with the day and the views and opinions represented by the World Nutella Day creators are not endorsed by the company.
Ms. Rosso and Ms. Fabio have created some of the most popular food blogs on the Internet. Ms. Rosso is an American digital strategist, writer and photographer living in Milan, Italy. She has lived in Italy since 2003 and writes a blog about her experiences called Ms. Adventures in Italy. Some of her photography has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, La Cucina Italiana magazine and her writing can be found in Fodor's Italy guide.
When you visit NutellaDay.com or the World Nutella Day Facebook page you are met with a creative passion for Nutella. Until recently Nutella was a specialty product in the U.S., but in recent years has became available in mainstream grocery stores. It is on the shelf next to peanut butter and, in Europe, Nutella is the more popular of the two spreads.
Many Italian and other European children fall in love with Nutella at an early age and World Nutella Day is the perfect day for adults everywhere to experience a second childhood and discover Nutella. The website offers a collection of the top worldwide recipes with more than 700 ways to enjoy Nutella in everything from cookies and cupcakes to drinks and pizzas as well as Nutella substitute recipes for those who would like to make their own homemade version.
“Nutella Day has had a significant impact on the way Nutella is used in the world. Before World Nutella Day, using Nutella in recipes was practically unheard of. Through our extensive recipe list on NutellaDay.com, we've inspired people to experiment with Nutella and it's become a tradition for many families to cook with it as well as just dip their spoons in the jar,” said Ms. Rosso.
“We get so many positive comments from Nutella first-timers, people who had never tried it before, so apparently World Nutella Day continues to open taste buds around the globe with each passing year,” Ms. Fabio said.
If you are new to Nutella or are looking for new ways to enjoy the versatile chocolate spread, here are a few ideas that the website offers.
30 Ways to Eat Nutella:
Between two slices of white bread
In a crepe
Baked into a croissant
In a donut
On top of ice cream
Dip a banana into it
Spread onto cookies
On a bagel
On top of a waffle
Swirled into pound cake batter
On sliced pear
Stuffed in a cored apple
Stuffed in French toast
Swirled into brownies
Swirled into cheesecake
Dosed into your morning coffee
Frozen into an icy granita
Topped on a cupcake
Injected into a cupcake
Between layers of a cake
Mixed with your favorite cream alcohol
Mixed into a chocolaty martini
Mixed in your favorite pudding
Melted into hot chocolate
On a sweet pizza
With peanut butter in a poor man's peanut butter cup
In a N&J – Nutella & Jelly sandwich
With marshmallow fluff in a FlufferNutterNutella
When I was living in Italy we would take an extra ciabatta roll from breakfast and save it for an afternoon snack. The markets sold condiment size packets of Nutella and after a walk around town we would sit down and enjoy the bread with some Nutella.
Nutella pizza was also available for dessert in many of the pizzerias. It was a simple combination of Nutella spread over the hot baked crust and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The crust was just hot enough to slightly melt the Nutella. It was perfection in its most simple form.
Recipes: Four Ingredient Nutella Brownies
1/2 cup Nutella spread
1 large egg
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup mini muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Put the Nutella and egg in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and well blended. Add the flour and whisk until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins (about 3/4 full) and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts. Bake until a pick comes out with wet, gooey crumbs, 11 to 12 minutes. Set on a rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Notes: In place of the hazelnuts, switch in one of the following 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, (add with the flour) or 1/4 cup chopped peanuts.
Recipe from nutelladay.com
Peanut Butter Stuffed Nutella Cookies
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 1/4 teaspoon Confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Nutella, divided
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 teaspoons milk
2 cups quick cooking oats (ground in food processor)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 cup flour (keep adding until dough no longer sticks to hands)
Add peanut butter, confectioner's sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup Nutella to a small bowl and mix together until well blended. Put in freezer until ready to use. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the margarine, brown sugar and remaining Nutella in a large bowl with a mixer. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and milk mix together until smooth. In another large mixing bowl, add the oats, baking soda remaining salt and 1 cup flour. Fold dry ingredients, a little at a time, into the other mixture. Keep adding more flour until dough forms a ball and is easily handled without sticking to your hands. Place the dough in the fridge for 30-35 minutes to firm up. Shape dough into balls—about 2 tablespoons each. Remove the filling mixture from the freezer and stuff each dough ball with 1 teaspoon of the mixture. Put the stuffed dough balls in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm up. Place chilled dough balls about 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are firm. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.
Recipe from nutelladay.com