Monday, October 11, 2010

Cracking the Case

An unassuming jar sits on the shelf.  It looks ordinary enough.  Dark brown product, clean label, nutritious claims, interesting name.

Nutella-001

nutella

The diabetic online community is always raving about nutella.  Some describe it as crack.  Which makes me hear Jeff Foxworthy in my head saying something like, “If you compare food to illicit drugs you might be a redneck!”  Crack?  Really?  I have seen the description enough to be curious.  For a diabetic to say they binge on “nutella aka crack” when their blood sugar is low I’m thinking it’s got to be something really good, right?

So Heath bought me the smallest jar he could find.  He knows how I react when something is built up too much.  Like Keanu Reeves movies.  It’s hard to say if the product was oversold by zealous fans.  If a diabetic isn’t calling it crack then it’s a mother saying her children won’t eat anything else.  Everyone says that they feel good their kids are eating something healthy.  So I tried it. 

The open lid revealed a shiny gold protective barrier.  That was easily removed.  I observed the product was the consistency of chocolate pudding just before it sets completely.  As I tipped the jar the nutella moved a little.  Skeptical, I ran it through with a butter knife.  Then attempted to smear it across a piece of bread. 

Me:  This looks like chocolate frosting.
Heath:  It kind of does.  Try a little bit.

I licked off the tiny bit on the tip of the knife. 

Me:  Yep.  That is nothing more than chocolate frosting with the tiniest hint of hazelnut.
Heath licking his own knife:  You’re right.
Me:  No wonder everyone gushes about it.  It’s pure sugar.
Heath:  Yeah, check out the ingredients. 

Nutella-004

Sugar, palm oil, then hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifiers (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.

If you’ll notice the nutrition facts, there are 22 grams of carbs per serving with 21 of those grams coming from sugar.  You couldn’t pay me enough to eat 22 grams of carbs per 2 tablespoonful serving of sugar!  It’s frosting.  I just fed my kids frosting sandwiches.  They, of course, loved it.  Gwen was licking nutella off her fingers saying, “Mmm!  Licious!” 

Now I ask you how is this more healthy than peanut butter?  Is it the hazelnuts that help you sleep at night?

Nutella-003

Because peanuts are the first ingredient in peanut butter.  Not the third after sugar and oil. 

Nutella-002

Peanut butter only has 7 grams of carbs per 2 tablespoon serving.  And only 3 grams coming from sugar.  Peanut butter has 7 grams of protein while nutella only has 3 grams.  And peanut butter boasts it’s a good source of vitamin E.  Nutella makes no such claims.  It only says it should be spread on whole wheat bread and consumed with a glass of skim milk and a glass of o.j. to be part of a balanced breakfast! 

I’m sorry.  Nutella is chocolate frosting.  Which is fine.  I mean, I pour milk over bowls of cookies for my kids because the box says they are fortified with vitamins and minerals.  A bowl of cookies or toast topped with frosting?  Tough call. 

Either way, I don’t think nutella should also be known as crack.  Did I like it?  Yeah, as much as I like eating frosting out of the can.  Which is great when the mood strikes.  I guess I’m not much of a sweet person.  I never got why they called it better than sex cake!  It was cake.  Sex had nothing to do with it.  Kind of sounds like a personal problem to me. 

Although I must say, if you want addictive empty calorie food you should try Costco’s artichoke jalapeño dip.  Holy there’s a party in your mouth!  I prefer it cold.  And not because the plastic tub turned into shrinky dink when we microwaved it.  Heath was so annoyed.  He kept reading the label that clearly had microwaving instructions that did not include putting the dip in another container!  It was ok.  We dipped our chips in the melted tub and it tasted just as good. 

Eat whatever floats your boat.  That’s my motto.  Just don’t compare it to crack.  Most of us have no frame of reference on that one.  

6 thoughts:

mintifresh said...

Okay, I don't know if I'd call it crack but I do like it and I don't like frosting much. I do think it's funny that the ad for it claims it's a healthy way to start the day but as you pointed out, it has more sugar than the sugariest of cereal!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

I know! Aren't there laws about false advertising? How is sugar a healthy way to start the day? It is a really luxurious, silky kind of frosting. But it's still frosting.

Sherron said...

My grandmother use to have Nutella and we would sneak a spoonful when we were over there. I love it, but since it has milk, I can't eat it anymore. I love the texture. But, I've never put it on anything other than a plain spoon or a spoon filled with peanut butter (try that combo, it's great!)

My sister made some Oreo bonbons that were really good. She said that they were better than the "better than sex cake". I told her that she has a sorry sex life. I've never understood that title either.

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Sherron, I thought of you when I listed all the ingredients. I wondered if you or your family were able to enjoy nutella since peanut butter is not in your house. That's a bummer that you can't indulge in the occasional spoonful.

Nutella and peanut butter - that sounds really good.

Sherron said...

Oh no, peanut butter is here! (just no dairy, wheat or fructose-laden foods) My little guy couldn't eat it when he was tiny because of a protein issue, but he is better now (Thank goodness!) I LOVE peanut butter! I seriously eat it straight out of the jar. I have graduated to using a spoon, as I use to just swipe a fingerfull out, but then I realized how gross that is when the boys try to do the same thing!

I saw a recipe today for Nutella frosting and I thought that it was a rather redundant title! Hehe!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Sherron, I considered baking sugar cookies and spreading Nutella on them. I haven't done it yet. And I tried your idea of the Nutella and peanut butter. It gave me an instant sugar headache but it was as good as you promised!