Friday, February 3, 2012

Nuts for Nutella

Nutella. The velvety texture sweeps over your tongue, tingles your taste buds, and overwhelms your mouth with the perfect balance of hazelnut to chocolate. To me, there is nothing more pleasing than indulging in a jar of Nutella. Unlike many foods, I can remember when I first encountered the scrumptious treat. My 8th grade French class hosted a French food day, and my teacher provided a baguette and countless jars of Nutella. My friends and I approached the chocolate-resembling substance with a slight amount of trepidation—the food possessed the consistency of melted chocolate, yet it was cold; it also smelled differently—an effect of the hazelnuts as I am now aware. Gently plunging our knives into the jar, we slowly spread the substance over the fluffy bread. We drew the bread to our mouths, took a bite, and immediately were overwhelmed with satisfaction and a chorus of “mmms!” and “yum!” At that moment, my Nutella obsession began. Since the first bite, I have not only enjoyed eating Nutella straight from the jar, but also creating Nutella-based snacks! Below, I have listed some of my favorite snacks, how to prepare them, and the preferred methods of consummation. Enjoy!

Ritzella Cookie

Take a Ritz cracker. Spread Nutella on the smooth side. I like to spread a thin sheet over the entire side, yet some may prefer to increase the amount of Nutella to a dollop. I also like to eat the cracker with the Nutella-side facing up.
*Variation: Ritz-Nutella Sandwich
Take two Ritzella Cookies and place them together (the Nutella side should be touching). You should now have a sandwich that resembles an Oreo!

Frexican Bite

This snack originated when I discovered that I had run out of Ritz crackers. So, I used the next closest item: Tortilla chips (I like Xochital)! Dip the tortilla chip into the Nutella as you would with salsa. Your taste buds will be met with the sweet and salty satisfaction of the Frexican Bite (originally, I believed Nutella to have originated in France (France + Mexican= Frexican); I later learned that the spread comes from Italy. But, I decided “Frexican” possessed a better ring than “Itexican.”)

Nutella Dipped Fruit

Take your favorite fruit (I like sliced bananas or strawberries), dip into Nutella (I prefer to leave one side or part of the fruit clean), and you’re met with a scrumptious, juicy treat.

Smores on the Go

Why melt chocolate when you can use Nutella? Take a graham cracker, spread the Nutella on top, and place a series of small (yes, small!) marshmallows on the Nutella.
*Variation: Smores Sandwich
Place another graham cracker on top of your prepared Smore. This adds an extra crunch to the delicacy!

-- Katie Behrman

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