Is there anything better than Nutella? For the longest time, I didn’t think so, except for when I’ve had Nutella in Europe. Apparently they make it differently over there. Of course.
But I was happy to make due with what I could buy here. Until now. Now there’s this:
It’s a new product from Trader Joe’s (which used to stock Nutella back in the day, which is where I first started buying it. And then one day it mysteriously disappeared. TJs is notorious for hooking you on a product and then discontinuing it. But what can you do? It’s one of those lovable quirks.) I learned of this new product on Facebook, when a friend of mine who works there posted it on her wall, with the incendiary legend, “better than Nutella.”
Fighting words indeed. So what could I do? A taste test was in order.
I decided to test the two spreads on toast, which is the normal, all-American way to eat Nutella. At least at my house.
The 11-year-olds chewed their respective pieces of toast thoughtfully. But they both came down in favor of Nutella.
“It’s sweeter and smoother,” said the boy, “and tastes more like what I think a chocolate spread should taste like.”
The girl, a neighbor friend named Natalia (who, not coincidentally, we lovingly call Nutella), agreed. “It’s smoother. I like Nutella better.”
Then they asked me to make them Nutella toast for their Friday afternoon snack.
The teen also favored Nutella, although she offered her typically taciturn response; a wrinkled nose at the almond spread and a nod and a point at the Nutella before exiting the room (and asking me to make her my famous Nutella Bap, which is Nutella on a bollilos roll).
For the two adult tasters, however, the results were less clear-cut.
“It’s excellent,” said the Ex, trying his toast with coffee. “The almond flavor really comes through, but subtly.” However, he did agree that Nutella still held its own.
“It’s not better than Nutella,” he said. “Just different.”
And what did I think? I think I’m trained to love the taste of Nutella, so that new and competing brands of chocolate spread have to fight first through that bias before working its wiles on me. But after a couple of chews I decided I liked the nuances of this new spread just fine. I also wondered what it would taste like underneath some cashewnut butter, although is it wrong to mix almonds and cashews in such a reckless manner? No matter. I could learn to love Cocoa Almond Spread.
I bow to the crowd, however. The result?
Nutella wins this round. Which is not to say I won’t be buying TJ’s Cocoa Almond Spread. Especially if Fresh & Easy, my Nutella supplier these days, ever decides to stop carrying it. Who knows? Maybe the fam will come around to its charms.
Your verdict? Talk to me chocolate spread lovers!