What happens when you take two fabulous food writers, combine their love of an Italian childhood staple and add in a dash of genius and creativity? You get the birth of a global holiday dedicated to the celebration of Nutella, a winning recipe in my books.
On February 5th, lovers of chocolate and hazelnut will unite to pay homage to the beloved spread on World Nutella Day. Could there be any more perfect way to “spread some energy” and some love in the dead of winter than gathering with friends and indulging in fresh bread generously smeared with the delectable crema?
The brainchild of American writers in Italy, Sara Rosso and Michelle Fabio, the holiday began in 2007 to encourage Nutella enthusiasts worldwide to enjoy and get creative with one of Italy’s national, edible treasures. World Nutella Day is the perfect day for adults everywhere to experience a second childhood and discover , or re-discover Nutella.
Being a fellow Nutella lover, my taste buds and curiosity were peaked about this incredible day honoring the splendiferous spread, so I connected with co-creator, Sara Rosso back in 2012 to learn more.
JA: What made you want to create a holiday dedicated to Nutella? Were there challenges to establishing this holiday?
SR: Nutella is so ingrained into the culture here in Italy, that it just seemed silly that they weren’t devoting a day to it. At the time a lot of sites were also doing themed months and weeks and I thought it was a great opportunity to expose a lot of people to Nutella in different incarnations.
JA: Why did you decide on the February 5th date?
SR: The end of the year is packed with other holidays and I wanted a little time between the post-holiday depression and giving ourselves an opportunity to indulge a little again. And though Nutella spreads better in the summer, I think the winter is a good time for baking and experimenting with Nutella.
JA: What the best ways to participate in/celebrate World Nutella Day? What are some tips you can offer for hosting a Nutella party?
SR: I think if you’ve never had Nutella, you should try it in its purest form so you get a sense of the flavor. Then, I would definitely say try to substitute Nutella in place of chocolate in your favorite chocolate recipe -it may come out great! Also, putting Nutella in a recipe is a good way to share Nutella with others (though many World Nutella fans would not like me advocating sharing your Nutella!)
We wrote up a guide to hosting a Nutella party with tons of suggestions, and it’s also in the Unofficial Guide to Nutella book that the other co-host, Michelle Fabio, and I wrote.(http://www.nutelladay.com/nutella-book/) The most important ingredient, of course, is having plenty of Nutella on hand. I’m sure the rest of the party will work itself out.
JA: This year marks the 9th anniversary of World Nutella Day, how has it grown since its inception in 2007?
SR: The response has really been incredible, and we’ve been really pleased with how many people have embraced it. Every year it feels like the audience doubles. Right now we have more than 25,000 fans on Facebook and the NutellaDay.com site is a very popular resource for Nutella recipes.
JA: Did you ever imagine the sensation that you’ve created around this event, with all types of Nutella tributes pouring in, not only with an enormous recipe exchange but with on and offline celebrations, photos and poetry just to name a few?
SR: I love the creativity that all the fans have had. I think this goes back to answer #1 – I saw something that so many people are emotional and passionate about, so it’s no surprise that they want to express their appreciation for it.
JA: What are your hopes for the future of World Nutella Day?
SR: This event is truly viral so we hope that people continue to spread the word even though more people have heard of it – there are still so many who haven’t heard of World Nutella Day or tasted Nutella, for that matter !
We also hope we’ll hear less of “is this really a holiday?” in the future. To that I say, yes. Yes, it is.
My special thanks to Sara Rosso for generously offering her time to answer my questions and Auguro a tutti un Felice e delizioso Giorno Nutella!
For more information on World Nutella Day and its co-creators Sara Rosso and Michelle Fabio, and for delicious Nutella recipe ideas visit: www.nutelladay.com