By Linda & George Meyers, Culinary Patrol
When we travel the world, one of our favorite things to do is eat! But you know that about us by now. We love to sample the traditional foods from different places because many times they are completely unfamiliar to us.
One of our absolute favorite Italian discoveries was Nutella! While it is now widely available, Nutella has an interesting backstory. It dates back to around 1965 and a gentleman named Pietro Ferrero who owned a bakery in Alba, an Italian town known for the production of hazelnuts.
In the 1940s, Ferrero initially sold a version of the hazelnut confection in a solid block, but then created a creamy version known as “Supercrema” about a decade later. In 1963, Pietro’s son, Michele, revamped the Supercrema, modifying its composition, and renamed it “Nutella” to market throughout Europe. The first jar of Nutella left the factory in Alba in 1964. It was an instant success and today you can find Nutella throughout the US in supermarkets, specialty stores, and even Target! While the Nutella you can find in Italy tastes a bit different than the one available here in the US, it’s still incredibly addictive!
Our travels throughout the world have piqued our curiosity to see if the food items we discover and love are available once we get back home. We’ve been thrilled to find that there are indeed places who important specialties from other countries. So if you fall in love with a frite sauce (like a mayonnaise) in Holland, a stollen from Germany, or even a candy bar from the UK, you can usually find someone who imports it in the US.
For example, many great Italian products are available from a company called Flora Fine Foods (https://florafoods.com/). You can find authentic cheeses, pasta, olives, olive oil, and other products on their website or in the stores they distribute to like Publix, WalMart, Wegmans, and Winn Dixie. We love their Pizzelles! And there are a lot of other companies who import foods from France, Holland, Germany, China, Japan, and many others. You can even find Indian markets, Mexican specialty stores, and Asian markets popping up in many towns and cities across the US.
With the world becoming so global every day, if you fall in love with a food product while you are traveling, we urge you to do a little investigating to see if you can find it here at home. Chances are you’re not alone and there is a growing market for some of these special ethnic foods. After all, just look what happened to Nutella which is now mainstream!