In Food24Tastes a few weeks ago, we tested major peanut butters against each other. We received such incredible passionate responses from our South Africans readers, that we decided that we had to progress to chocolate hazelnut spreads.
Nutella is the world’s favourite and best known chocolate hazelnut spread. Created in Italy by the Ferrero company (the guys who brought us Ferrero Rocher!), its origin comes from gianduja paste, a traditional Italian paste of cocoa solids and hazelnuts.
First sold in the 1960s, Nutella is today wildly popular throughout Europe. You will find it served with pastries for breakfast in Rome, with crepes on the streets of Paris, and on waffles in Brussels. The sweet, chocolatey spread has found its way into candies, chocolate bars, ice creams, cocktails and has become very prominent in home baking recipes.
We have always been put off by the hefty price of the imported original Nutella. That, and the fact that the temptation of having a jar in house at any time would just be too much to bear! Most of us eat it by the spoonful as a quick treat, but it is just as delicious on buttered toast, or used to flavour a buttercream frosting!
Spar Squillos Chocolate Hazelnut spread (R88,97 p/kg from selected Spars)
Squillo’s is a Spar chocolate product line that comes in a variety of products, including breakfast cereals. Squillo’s scored moderately in flavour (almost 50%) but it was the aftertaste and texture that brought the ratings way down.
Tasters said: “The downfall comes with the aftertaste of this product; it is also a bit too sugary sweet (taste and smell) – it almost gets caught in your mouth”
“Very liquid and feels oily. The nut flavour is not very strong.”
“Feels runnier than the rest”
Ferrero Nutella (R171,40 p/kg from all major retailers and often more expensive)
Nutella scored a whopping 92,5% on flavour, with most of the panel immediately recognising the flavour profile. The milky, creamy texture was a big plus.
Tasters had this to say:
“You just can’t beat Nutella: it’s glossier with a silkier look and feel, and softer in your mouth; perfection.”
“ This one has the creamiest texture with the best flavour.”
“ The best by far”
RECIPE: No-bake Nutella squares
Pick n Pay Hazelnut spread (R124,97 p/kg from selected Pick n Pays)
Pick n Pay’s no name brand was popular with the tasting panel, and besides giving it good scores, they were not fooled! It’s creamy texture was a winner.
“ Has more of an chocolate taste than hazelnut….. not Nutella but it’s quite close”
“ Definitely more of a hazelnut flavor to this spread, which personally I have enjoyed. It’s not Nutella, but – put it this way – I wouldn’t mind having this as an option should Nutella not be around…”
RECIPE: Bacon Nutella brownies
Red Bicycle Chocnut (R134,95 p/kg from selected Checkers)
The wild card spread was found at Kloof Street Checkers. Scoring a disappointing 30/100 for flavour, this one was by far the least appealing. It had a darker, more grainy appearance and an unpleasant taste.
The panel said:
“Don’t like this one! Tastes like cheap baking chocolate”
“Tragic. Who likes icing sugar on its own?”
“Are there even nuts in this? This one is so sweet it’s gross”
Nutella was by the far the winner!
We were really surprised that most of the tasters found it very easy to identify the original product, Nutella. This may be because it is the only chocolate spread that many of us had ever been exposed to, not having bought any of the alternatives before.
If you’re planning to do some baking, then we suggest the second place spread from Pick n Pay. It had great flavour and texture and was the closest to the real thing.
If you are a Nutella fan and you just love eating it, then splash out on the real deal – it really does taste the best!
RECIPE: Nutella mug cake for one
The rules and a few notes:
-All testers tasted and rated all 4 samples.
-Samples were not labelled, and were tasted in random order.
-Each sample was scored on Appearance, Small, Texture and mouthfeel, Flavour and Aftertaste.
-This article is not sponsored in any way, and Food24 did not profit from the results of this test.
-The results are not a scientific study, and are intended as entertainment.
All four of these products are imported. They are manufactured variously in Germany, Belgium and Poland. All four products contained palm oil.
MAKE AT HOME: Nutella hot chocolate truffles