Saturday, January 10, 2009

Don't refrigerate Nutella!

Yes, that's what I said.

While I'd heard of it before, I didn't try it until I was in Italy a couple years back, when all the b&b's had it. As a breakfast or snack condiment, I'll start out by saying that NUTELLA F'N ROCKS! It's really, really tasty stuff.

For many of you chocolate lovers out there, you'll probably do back flips after tasting it for the first time. However, despite it's tasty flavor, it's a bit tempermental when it comes to storage.

It's one of the misconceptions of our time. If you put Nutella in the fridge, it will harden. Many American folks will probably run into this issue because:

  • They're new to Nutella. It's more commonly used in Europe.
  • Assuming they know to buy it (it's very tasty); if they do use it, they get it in the large quantity double pack at Costco.
  • The first instinct, once one uses it, is to think of it as something like a jam; thus, refrigeration must be required.
  • What's even more frustrating is that even when you don't refrigerate it, you pretty much need to use it rather quickly; otherwise it will slowly start to harden and crust up on you...and the lid will get this greasy consistency on it, which is probably from evaporation of the liquid inside, I guess?
So here's what to expect when you take Nutella out of the fridge, and procedures in how to deal with it.
  1. When you take Nutella out after it's been in the fridge, it's hard. Really hard.
  2. Put the spoon away, as you're gonna need a knife. A strong butter knife is preferred.
  3. It will be like mining for limestone. You'll have to saw around the sides of the desired piece before trying to extract it.
  4. It may fly out at you. When I dealt with the extraction part of the process, the Nutella wanted to launch itself into orbit.
  5. Once you manage to get it on your bread, don't bother trying to spread it. You'll destroy whatever you just put it now need your handy microwave.
  6. Throw your specimen into the microwave for 30 seconds...don't go beyond that or you might risk "overcooking" the Nutella. You're just trying to soften it.
  7. Hence, bubbling Nutella from microwave = bad. Softened Nutella from microwave = good.
  8. NOW spread it with the knife.
  9. Put the lid back on and secure it tightly.
  10. Uh, maybe place the Nutella back in the cupboard this time.
  11. Thank yourself...and thank you!!!
So there you are...have a Nutella of a day. Good night, and good luck.


Anonymous said...

i put the nutella in the microwave for 30 min jar and all. and when i took it out there were little dots in it everywhere, like tiny bubbles but the entire jar was like that.

im a little hesitant to eat it because it looks like it's gone bad.

Sweva said...

I wouldn't put the whole jar in the microwave...but I can't imagine it all went bad on you.

I've abandoned keeping Nutella in the cupboard, so this is what I'm doing: I put it in the fridge at a spot farthest away from the processor, or source of the cold (generally above the top shelf, in the back of the unit). Try the bottom shelf of the door. It seems to be slightly more pliable when I go to use it.

If you can leave it out for 5 minutes before using it, it will soften up...or just using a strong knife should bring out chunks.

THEN if it's needed use the microwave...20 sec for 1 piece of bread, 30 for two. That should make it easier to spread.

I wouldn't microwave the whole jar...assuming it's plastic, as a rule I NEVER microwave plastic. Plus, it doesn't seem to make sense to microwave the whole jar again and again, if you want to keep the Nutella at its freshest.

Sweva said...

Hey anonymous, I looked at your comment again...did you mean 30 SECONDS?

I'm assuming you didn't put it in for 30 MINUTES...or I'd probably have felt the shockwave from my house.

Crystallyn said...

Nutella should be thought of in the same way that one thinks of non-organic peanut butter. It doesn't need to be refrigerated. In fact it says two things on the jar:

1. Do not refrigerate.
2. Do not microwave.

Clearly for all of the reasons you listed above!

A jar in our house never lasts more than a week so keeping it on the shelf that long just isn't a problem. :)

Anonymous said...

If you accidentally put nutella in the refrigerator, just put it in a hot water bath. I just microwaved some water in a large measuring cup and let the jar sit in the bath for 5-10 mins. Make sure the water level does not reach the lid and you should be fine, though the label might peel off.

Anonymous said...

I love nutella so much, I never spread it on anything more than a spoon. Therefore, I enjoy putting it in the fridge so I can have a nice chunk of nutella! MMMMM!

Anonymous said...

Nutella is 50% sugar and isn't really healthy.. doesn't it have genetically modified palm oil in it as well?

Teala said...

Since nutella contains milk, it shouldn't be stored at room temperature.. But yeah it gets too hard, I'll tru biking it with my toast after spreading.. I difbt used to like hazelnut, just bought my first jar of nutella and I'm hooked!

Anonymous said...

anonymous, if u worry abt being healthy all the time, wen the heck do u enjoy the pleasures of life?