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Chocolate & Hazelnuts – They’ve Got History

March 30, 2023
When did the magical and transfixing combination of chocolate and hazelnuts become a thing?

We are reminded time and again in food history, some of the most delicious and beloved dishes are born of scarcity and improved by embracing difficult circumstances.

The storied, and undoubtedly embellished, genesis of what we now know as chocolate hazelnut spread is full of inconsistencies and points of contention. Nevertheless, what most historians can agree on is that by the early 1800s, Turin had long held the distinction of being Europe's chocolate capital, its cacao-based products renowned as delicacies across the continent. But by 1806, its prominence was poised to collapse. Hazelnut chocolate cream, or crema gianduia, could have easily been lost to history. Napoleon's wars in South America made cocoa beans so astronomically expensive in the Savoy kingdom that local chocolatiers were going out of business. An inspired, but practical, solution saved the day (and the product). They hit on the idea of using local and plentiful hazelnuts, ground up, to make their chocolate go further.

This is but one version of the story, but it does celebrate innovation in the face of hard times. Turin's chocolatiers buoyed the local industry, harnessing their resourcefulness to create a brilliant new product—one that has persisted in popularity through the centuries. Hooray!

History does repeat itself though, and so more war meant additional challenges for crema gianduia. After 90 years of producing their treats in relative peace, the chocolatiers of Turin faced a new period of uncertainty with the onset of World War II. Once again, the looming war brought with it food rations and many other austerity measures. The supply of cocoa was once again drastically limited. In 1946, Piedmontese pastry chef Pietro Ferrero, inspired by his chocolatier forefathers, created a thick paste using hazelnuts, sugar, and what little cocoa was available. He further revolutionized the industry with the first spreadable version of the confection, called “La Supercrema.” The spreadability factor was brilliant, proving that a small amount went a long way. This helped to change the perception that chocolate was only for very special occasions. It could and should be enjoyed with more regularity.

The availability and affordability of La Supercrema turned the chocolate-hazelnut spread into a household staple throughout Italy. Two centuries of social, political, and historical change shaped the journey of the product now beloved worldwide.

But progress doesn’t stop there. Oh, does Wildfare have its own extraordinary version! Our Hazelnut Butter with Cocoa spread is better than any you have ever tasted before. Hard to believe, right? There’s only one way to find out. Try it and experience it for yourself! We are confident it will be your new fav!
RELATED PRODUCTS
7.05 OZ - NEW
Hazelnut Butter
with Cocoa
Our Hazelnut Butter with Cocoa elevates the classic combination universally beloved by children and adults alike. The texture is beyond silky and the flavor is extraordinary!
 
1.05 OZ
Hazelnut Butter
with Cocoa
Our Hazelnut Butter with Cocoa elevates the classic combination universally beloved by children and adults alike. The texture is beyond silky and the flavor is extraordinary!
 
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