In my mind, this product is like the vegan version of “Nutella”. At least that was my first thought when I found this spread at Natural Grocers the other day. I should start by saying that, I have no idea what “Nutella” tastes like, so I will not be comparing the two products at all. The only thing I know is that it is a chocolate hazelnut spread. Anyway, I was extremely excited when I found this product on the shelves. I love hazelnuts and I really love chocolate, so it had to be good! I have tried a few other products by the Nutiva brand before and I haven’t been disappointed, so I was excited that they had something that I have always wanted to try.
For starters, the name of the product was really eye-catching. I always walk through the nut butter section of the store to see if there is anything I can’t live without. Typically I pass, since I have been making my own nut and seed butters lately. This caught my eye though! I just saw the words chocolate and hazelnut and knew I had to try it. I liked that the vegan “V” was clearly displayed in front. That way, I knew I could get it without having to pick the container up and examine each and every ingredient. I end up examining it anyway, because I’m always curious. My excitement quickly turned into curiosity when I flipped the jar over to look at the ingredients. It contained things like “palm olein and palm stearin” which I had never even heard of before. They are both derivatives of palm oil. The olein is the liquid part, while the stearin is the solid part. I’m not particularly fond of palm oil for environmental reasons, and I rarely consume products that contain the ingredient. Once I got past the strange list of ingredients, I was ready to try the spread.
Upon opening the jar, I got a strong chocolate and toasted hazelnut scent. The product was a lot thinner than I expected. I thought it was going to be closer to the consistency of a thick spreadable peanut butter, but it wasn’t that at all. It was closer to the consistency of a drippy almond butter. I gave it a quick stir, and noticed that there were some lumps. I stirred for another few seconds and it was still slightly lumpy, which was moderately off putting to me. I expected it to be really smooth with all of the different oils and emulsifiers in it. After coming to terms with the consistency of the spread, I just took a giant spoonful! It was so much better than I had expected. There was a strong toasted hazelnut flavor, but it balanced out the richness of the chocolate nicely. I haven’t really done much with the stuff other than eat it straight out of the jar. I didn’t really notice the lumpiness when I ate it, so I think they were just thicker parts that had a harder time mixing in.
Overall, this product was one of the best tasting products I have reviewed to date. The chocolate hazelnut flavor was spot on and it wasn’t too sweet! I could dip fruit in it, spread it on bread, bake with it, or just eat it by the spoonful anytime!