It is an irresistible delight "made in Italy" which has now conquered half the world. And it seems hard to believe that the gianduja was born to remedy a very concrete problem: finding an alternative to the chocolate, in times when it was too expensive and difficult to find. Thus the intuition to exploit a raw material was born local, abundant and (at the time) as inexpensive as le hazelnuts. The next step was to make gianduia a Spreadable cream, so as to facilitate consumption in so many situations, from the Breakfast at snack time. An idea that soon became a worldwide success, making the Nutella (the most famous creation of Michele Ferrero) an icon of the greediness contemporary and an Italian myth from beyond 50 years. And in fact, opening up a market where, especially in recent months, new producers have appeared, each with its own "recipe". Today, therefore, it shelf of spreadable creams has become crowded: in addition to the great classics there are those made only with dark chocolate and those with alternatives (for example enriched with soy), but also versions "Spreadable" of famous confectionery products, such as biscuits or snacks. Such as to choose, beyond the indisputable preference of personal taste?
The label does not lie
Let yourself be taken by the gluttony and make an impulse purchase, putting in the shopping bag the jar more inviting is sacrosanct. But if you want to make a "good" purchase, in every sense, it's worth it read the label, because these products, although apparently similar, they can be a lot different. And not only in the composition but also in the price. It doesn't take long to figure it out: just look at the list of ingredients, which are listed in descending order. This means that they must be found in good location (and not at the bottom of the list) those most fine and characteristic of these creams: hazelnuts and cocoa. It can thus be discovered that they are present in quantity very different in the various products: le hazelnuts go by 13 to the 45% of the ingredients, the cocoa from the 6 to the 9%. In branded products premium (usually chocolate or pastry specialists, sold in the shops of gourmandises) hazelnuts can rise from 25 to the 50% of the ingredients. And i prices go up accordingly, from 30 to 55 euros per kg.
Most of the creams in jar sold at the supermarket is made of other things: above all sugar, oils and fats. It may sound curious but it's normal for these products and if the hazelnuts are at least 13-15% of the ingredients it is a compromise acceptable. Complete the recipe, powdered milk and the serum of milk, which improve the density. To get a cream velvety and homogeneous many manufacturers also resort to emulsifiers, like the lecithin of soy. And finally, there are those who add a touch of extract from vanilla or vanillin to "round up" the flavor and make the cream more greedy. But if hazelnuts and cocoa do not total together that from 20 to 54% of the ingredients, what else is in these creams?
Fats make the difference
In many cases the number 1 ingredient is it sugar, which can even weigh for the 50% on the recipe. Whether refined or cane it does not change because it has no influence on the quality of the cream. Equally often the second ingredient is constituted by the fat. And here the difference is the type of fat used. THE best are those naturally contained in the prized ingredients, namely thehazelnut oil and the cocoa butter. Many creams, however, contain oils and fats of origin vegetable (like oil of sunflower, of safflower or of Palm tree) which are the best performing and least expensive solution to obtain a compound homogeneous and capable of withstanding high temperature processing.
Fats are less valuable hydrogenated; the products that do not have it often signal it clearly on thelabel.
The waltz of the pieces
So they look the same but the creams are very different indeed spreadable with hazelnuts and cocoa that are on the market. There difference in the formulation, in the quantity and in the quality of the ingredients used also results in a large scissor of the prices: in only one well-stocked supermarket can be found products ranging from 4 to 20 euro to the kg. Attention, this is the price for the most common format because if you choose packs more small the cost per kg can also double up. And on the contrary it also decreases by 30% if you choose the maxi packs. Therefore, never stop at the price of single packaging, because it is misleading, and instead check the price per kg, which must be indicated on the tag affixed to the shelf.
Don't throw them away if …
Given that it seems difficult to think that one package of spreadable cream may be wasted because it is not consumed in time and left to lie in the refrigerator, however, there are situations in which the jar is opened and consumed within days or weeks. And maybe, opening it, the cream does not appear "normal". It is usually a simple conservation problem that should not lead to to throw the product because it does not affect its goodness or quality safety. For example, if the cream has some lumps almost certainly it is due to the fact that it was preserved at cold and this made the cocoa butter solidify. Just keep the jar for a few hours at a temperature environment to return the soft cream and homogeneous. Another drawback that can happen, but that should not alarm, is to discover theoil on the surface of the cream: it is caused by temperature changes to bring out that contained naturally in the ingredients used. That's enough mix for good to do it again amalgamate with cream.