This week I’m still reliving my trip to Turin (click here to read part 1 and part 2). Turin isn’t just famous for its chocolate, it is also famous for hazelnuts. Chocolate has a lot of really good friends. Hazelnuts are one of its best friends and mixed together they make Gianduja. Chances are you have already tried a version of Gianduja; Nutella. I’ll admit, I was a serial Nutella spoon licker for many many years until I was corrected. Nutella is not Gianduja. While they started in the same place with the same ingredients, Gianduja is a minimum of 30% hazelnuts while Nutella is 15% hazelnuts (plus is 50% sugar, loads of palm oil and other ingredients that you will never find in the real thing. So now I make my own and my recipe is linked below. I also share a bit of background on hazelnuts in this issue and sit down for a virtual hot chocolate with the dynamic duo behind the ultimate chocolate tour of Turin.
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Chief Chocolate Sipper ultimatehotchocolate.com
A Quick Note About Hazelnuts
What was meant to be a simple summary of what a hazelnut is and why that is wonderful turned into an exploration of the unsustainable practices in hazelnut production in Italy.
A Gianduja Hot Chocolate
Gianduja was supposedly created when cocoa imports were blocked into Italy and local chefs got creative by bulking the little chocolate they had up with locally available hazelnuts. Here is my recipe for Gianduja and how I use it in a hot chocolate.
A Hot Chocolate with Cecilia and Abrams at I Eat Tours, Turin, Italy
I had the chance to speak with Cecilia and Abrams about why Turin is the place for chocolate lovers to visit. 'Chocolate is like art: it opens up a world of endless possibilities and interpretations. That’s one of the reason why we both are in love with it. And of course very happy to introduce you our creative way to showcase the chocolate universe made in Turin."
A few additional Gianduja facts
Did you know that hazelnuts and truffles are best friends. Hazelnut trees are a great spot for truffle fungus to grow.
You can cover the Great Wall of China eight times with the number of jars of Nutella sold in a year.
Chef Abrams from I Eat Tours is a fan of these Brutti ma buoni (Ugly but good) hazelnut cookies.
This Week’s (Gianduja inspired) Hot Chocolate News
First, some gianduja’s to try…
Willie’s Cacao Raisin and Hazelnut bar with 100% Rio Maranon cacao (no sugar and conched for 21 days!!)
Hogarth has honoured the original gianduja with a bar made with 30% locally (New Zealand) grown hazelnuts.
Soma’s Gianduja drinking chocolate is best mixed with boiling water and simmered until thick
Karuna’s Crema Gianduia bio (with 60% hazelnuts!)
Zotter’s hazelnut marzipan chocolate
Qantu’s jean Duya Gianduia chocolate 32%
Guido Castagna’s giandujas with Venezuelans cacao.
Birdsnake’s Hazelnut Strange Magic made from single origin Ecuadorian chocolate)
Bahen’s Hazelnut and Orange bar
Dandelion’s Single Origin Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Monsieur Truffe’s milk and dark chocolate Gianduja
And if you want a whole box full you can order this Hazelnut inspired box from Bean Bar You.
(thanks to @laurenonthewknd @Jessica__chokolatejourneys @37chocolates @cacaoabouttown @beanbaryou for some of these suggestions.)
If you are in Qatar visit the 10 day Coffee, Tea and Chocolate Festival at Al Bidda.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited a cocoa farm in Belize and had hot chocolate (I know…breaking news…)
The European Commission released a proposal for a corporate due diligence directive that would hold businesses accountable for environmental harm and human rights abuse throughout their entire supply chain. Cocoa and chocolate companies, regardless of size, must comply with this.
Nestle has announced plans to pay cocoa farmers to keep children in schools in an attempt to curb child labour issues (though this raises more questions than answers for me).
Several big chocolate brands are pulling out of Russia, including Mondelez (owners of Cadbury).
The Ivory Coast is starting a cocoa tracing programme this year.
Any links you want to share? Send them to me here.
My first home made gif! This is the Ultimate Praline Tart I made this week following Reynold Poernomo’s recipe in The Dessert Game.
Finally, if you liked this newsletter, could you please share it with a few other hot chocolate loving friends?
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
Chief Chocolate Sipper at www.ultimatehotchocolate.com.
Follow on Instagram @ultimatehotchoc
Changing the way we view hot chocolate, one sip at a time.
Thanks for including some of my faves on your list Giselle and for all of this info! I am now wanting to try those ugly delicious cookies :)