The hazelnut spread is hoping to evade the "dessert toppings" category, but we all know the truth.
There are only three things in this life of sin I know to be true: “Aaron’s Party (Come And Get It)” and “Parents Just Don’t Understand” are apparently not the same song, a recipe can’t stop you from adding more garlic,and Nutella is not a jam. You’d think that last point wouldn’t need saying, but it’s the brand’s new MO. In fact, according to The Verge, they’ve submitted an official petition. Normally I’d be quick to acquiesce to any request from my favorite breakup food, but I respect Nutella enough to serve them only the truth.
Their reasoning? While definitely not a fruit, Nutella can be used on toast. This argument falls apart pretty quickly, however, because so can butter, avocado, cheese, eggs, and anything you decide to melt. The rea lpush for this change comes down to portion size. Despite reality, Nutella’s packaging currently lists a serving as two tablespoons (lol). That’s the case for all foods categorized as a “dessert topping,” which is the umbrella under which Nutella currently sits. However, the chocolate-hazelnut spread is looking to get into the fruit business, only insofar as to be categorized as a “jam.”
The serving size for jam is listed as only one tablespoon. A benefit of this that Nutella has definitely not overlooked is that to the untrained eye, it would make it seem like there are less calories in this gooey chocolate spread than there really are. At two tablespoons, the number reads “200.” At just one, it would be 100. And if you stand far away and squint, there are no calories at all!
All of these things are misleading, because there’s sadly no universe in which Nutella as-is would be healthy, and there’s no universe in which people are eating it in any smaller unit than by the handful while crying. Both of these things are OK! A number shouldn’t dictate what you feel comfortable eating, but it also shouldn’t pseudo-lie to the people who care.
This is why the FDA wants answers. They’re accepting public comment for the next 60 days to find out the reference amount we, as consumers, customarily use for Nutella and other “flavored nut butter spreads.” Not sure what to say? Then just fill in the blank of this sentence: I just ate a _______ of Nutella. If you answered “shovel,” then you and I would get along.