This will likely come as a surprise given my affection for food items that reasonable adults shouldn’t really be eating, but I only recently tried Jif Hazelnut Spread (yes, it’s just Nutella in an easier to manage container) for the first time. I might run a little behind the times in the spreadable-morning-type-foods category – I didn’t have my first bagel until I was 20. (In my household, all “religious” foods were shunned for fear that consumption would cause radical evangelism.) I’m pretty sure I had Nutella once before – in a NYC-street-fair crepe, paired with bananas and powdered sugar. However the Nutella didn’t really stand out to me at the time, as there was a lot going on in that concoction, and one has to use discretion when evaluating street fair food. So when I stumbled upon what appeared to be an empty bottle of Jif that had been refilled with chocolate sauce, my expectations were low. I threw a piece of oatmeal toast in the TO (that’s what toaster oven owners refer to their TOs as) and enjoyed a culinary delight that combined the warm crunchy texture of peanut buttery toast with the debauchery of drink/eating a candy bar that’s been on the dashboard in direct sunlight for a little too long.
As I discussed my new find with other folks, I heard the same story over and over again: “yeah, that stuff is delicious, but don’t be fooled – it is NOT good for you!” Luckily, I was able to sniff that one out without any research – my keen intuition suggested that spoonfuls of chocolate sauce might not be the nutritional equivalent of broccoli. Basically this spread tastes like a Toffifay – which on taste alone had a chance to make this esteemed list– but without the pain in the ass of the worst packaging in the candy industry. Put another way, it tastes like that damn hazelnut coffee smells – without the pain in the ass of drinking a cup of coffee. This stuff goes good on anything you’d normally put like jelly, jam, peanut butter, cream cheese, marinara sauce on – you could also probably make a nice mole sauce if you were into that kind of thing. I like to put a spoonful in my oatmeal – then it’s like eating a mushy candy bar with a spoon. Just be careful – it’s apparently not good for you (but if you eat it with oatmeal – which IS good for you – isn’t that a push?) And don’t worry, Sriracha – I haven’t foresaken you. (Sriracha at $2.64/bottle at Wal-Mart in Arkansas represents the greatest arbitrage opportunity since Kramer and Newman figured out how to get a mail truck to Michigan.)