I thought Nutella was weird when it first hit the shelves of grocery stores. And after trying it as a kid, I didn’t see the appeal.
Nutella is one of those foods that I find is black and white for most people. They either love it or hate it.
At one time, I hated it. But then as I got older, I discovered a love for hazelnuts, especially the chocolate and hazelnut confections, Ferrero Rocher. The brand is owned by the same company that owns Nutella, so I gave the latter another chance and ended up jumping across the line from hate to love.
That same company, The Ferrero Group, also owns Tic Tac, which is so left field from its chocolate-centered brands (which also include Kinder) that I had to mention it.
There’s just something about that sweet, buttery nut that I love, especially when paired with chocolate.
So when I heard that the Heights gelato shop Dolce Neve Gelato, 4721 N. Main St., created its own artisanal hazelnut spread, I had to get my hands on it.
And when I did, I of course compared it to Nutella.
On first spreading, I noticed that Nutella is completely smooth like creamy peanut butter and the Dolce Neve spread is thicker and I could see little tiny pieces of hazelnut throughout. I spread both on toasted sourdough and wheat bread, which I bought from Angela’s Oven, a vendor at Eleanora’s Market, 2021 Ella Blvd.
Once on the bread, both spreads reacted the same against the warmth of the toast and melted slightly into a creamy topping. I also added banana slices.
I recognized instantly that Dolce Neve’s spread was much richer than Nutella.
I think the reason is in the ingredients. The Dolce Neve spread contains only four ingredients: hazelnuts, cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cane sugar. Comparatively, Nutella lists 11 ingredients on its label.
According to Dolce Neve, its spread contains five times the amount of hazelnuts you would find in a jar of Nutella. After tasting both, I believe it.
Nutella isn’t suddenly gross to me, but I feel a little cheated by it as I now realize it lacks that true hazelnut flavor I’ve grown to love.
More so, the biggest difference between the two spreads is the price. I would have never thought I’d defend a $17, 7-ounce jar of hazelnut spread, but I am.
Dolce Neve’s spread is genuinely worth it for someone who enjoys hazelnut and chocolate. It’s delicious, it’s supporting local and it’s made with quality ingredients.
The only down side is that I’ve already eaten half my jar, which can’t be good for my health if I bought it only days ago.