Don’t fact check me on this, but the heavenly combination of hazelnut and chocolate became a global sensation during WWII. When supplies were in short order, they had to cut chocolate with hazelnut. And thank goodness they did, because this combination has become my favorite.
I’m such a fan of Nutella that when a cafe dedicated entirely to this substance was scheduled to launch in Union Square NYC in the winter of 2018, I stood in line for two hours in 35-degree weather for the doors to open.
Did I mention I was in my third trimester? A salesgirl who came outside to dispense tiny cups of hot chocolate to the queue kindly brought me a chair, noticing my very large occupant.
If you’re from NYC or have spent enough time there, this scenario will make complete sense to you. If you’re not, it may sound like lunacy. In fact, just the year prior, my husband and I passed a long line waiting in 20-degree weather to get into a shop that sold heart attack inducing ice cream sundaes – the ones you’ve seen in pictures that are in a tall glass and laden with candy, pretzels, bacon, cookies…I was aghast that people would wait outside for ice cream in the dead of winter.
But – offer me the right treat, and I’m totally willing to put myself out.
The couple just ahead of me earned the honor of being the very first customers. For that, they got their photo taken and were interviewed as soon as they were granted entry. I was a bit envious, but then again, I worried it might make me look bad being seven months pregnant and subjecting myself to such extremes as freezing temps and an abundance of chocolate hazelnut spread.
Top brass had come all the way from Italy to cut the ribbon before opening the door to five guests at a time. I sat next to several of the suits as they drank espresso from tiny cups and spoke in Italian with excitement about the cafe.
I enjoyed a grilled Nutella panini while my hands thawed out. The cafe gave me a free jar of the spread to take home, which was as good as getting paid for my time waiting. Totally worth it.