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… Chocolate spread

14 November 2022
Chocolate spread is famed as a major ingredient in our breakfast, snacks and other gourmet moments, but where does it come from?

Origins

In order to trace the origin of chocolate spread, we have to go back to the 1800s in Italy, in particular to Piedmont and the birth of Gianduja. Often confused today with praline, Gianduja is a chocolate and ground hazelnut paste which originates from Italian Piedmont. It was born when Napoleon ordered the blockade of the English in 1806. It was at this time that in order to overcome a shortage of cocoa beans, the Italians decided to make chocolate by replacing some of the beans with hazelnuts. This is how they created Gianduja. After the Second World War, and a new shortage of cocoa beans, a new chocolate brick was born. It was a direct descendant of the Gianduja and also made of chocolate and hazelnut. It was named the "Giandujot". Legend has it that during the heat wave of 1949, the blocks melted and turned into a creamy and irresistible spread. The spread was sold in jars to great successful and the recipe was subsequently adapted to obtain the consistency of a spread at room temperature. This is how chocolate spread was born. 

 Giandujot, the ancestor of chocolate spread 
Supercrema, the first chocolate spread

Recipes for all tastes

Since then, the composition of the spread has constantly evolved. Today, the best-selling spread in supermarkets contains little chocolate and hazelnuts, the recipe being mainly composed of sugar and palm oil. However, an increasing number of artisan producers are offering spreads of incomparable quality. Their price attests to the quality of the selected ingredients. Artisanal spreads contain mainly the raw ingredients of hazelnut and chocolate, and much less sugar. More and more recipes are blossoming, to the delight of gourmets. There are variations based on dried fruits: cashew nuts, almonds, praline... there is something for everyone! 

For all those who like to get their hands into the spread, it is very easy to make their homemade spread: a little chocolate (whether it is dark or milk) and vegetable oil (preferably hazelnuts) or milk to stabilize the preparation. To obtain a spread with even more taste, feel free to add chopped hazelnuts, lace pancakes... let your gourmet imagination run wild.

Tips from our chefs: add plenty hazelnuts to enhance the taste (Bellanger Chocolate), add a praline with roasted hazelnuts to its preparation for a more gourmet texture (Sébastien Bouillet).