We can all thank Sara Rosso for Nutella Day, the internationally recognized holiday that makes headlines every 5th of February. And rightly so. It celebrates all things related to the deliciously addictive hazelnut cocoa spread. What’s more, the story of how it came to be is an interesting one.
Though hard to believe, there was a time when Nutella was rare in Europe. You could only really find it abroad hidden on the shelves of certain Italian specialty stores. So this meant no Nutella crepes, no Nutella French toast, no Nutella doughnuts, and no Nutella milkshakes. Assuming Nutella desserts did exist, it follows that they were even harder to come across than tubs of Nutella themselves!
According to Rosso, founder and former co-host of the Nutella Day holiday, the company’s online presence in the US around 2006 was almost non-existent. As a result, Rosso could make a direct comparison of the change because she was living in Italy at the time (2003-2015) but still paying visits to US friends and family. She humorously states that at the beginning, “Ferrero felt to me much like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory: aloof, mysterious, and amazing, based on the products that were being manufactured there. I wondered at the company producing this deliciousness. Who were they?.. I didn’t know anyone working there. I wouldn’t have been surprised to discover Oompa Loompas were working there making magical creations.”
Deciding to share this Italian ambrosia with the world, she first recruited the help of her blogger friend Shelley Ruelle and we saw the International Nutella Day wheels put into motion! But take a moment to imagine the internet at the time; Facebook and Twitter weren’t the social animals they are today, and bloggers were the best bet at spreading the word. Thankfully, Nutella was a worthy cause everyone was willing to get behind! Immediately the internet buzzed with Nutella songs, poems, videos and more. Eventually, we saw Ruelle replaced by Michelle Fabio who remained at the reins with Rosso until 2015. Now Ferrero was ready to take over the event.
Moreover, Rosso highlights how “One of the biggest impacts World Nutella Day has had on Nutella’s market is the association of Nutella with recipes.” The recipes proved very helpful for those who were unacquainted and hesitant to invest in an entire jar of the mysterious Italian spread. By 2012, Nutella was everywhere and Rosso and Fabio had even published a book; The Unofficial Guide to Nutella. Recipes and fun things regarding Nutella and World Nutella Day make up this book. We’re talking flourless chocolate Nutella cake in addition to Nutella and mascarpone cream chocolate tarts, for instance. There’s even the luxurious sounding Nutella and fresh ginger mousse spicy macarons!
If you’re interested in finding Nutella desserts near you, you’re in luck. There are plenty of bakeries offering goodies like Nutella horns, Nutella French toast, and Nutella doughnuts. Further to this, if you’d like extra information on Sara Rosso and her other pursuits you can visit her website and side blog When I Have Time… For now, we wish you a happy Nutella Day!