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.)