In My Opinion
Deliciousness Without Guilt: Is It Too Much To Ask?
There are two people living inside of me.
No, not twins. They're not in my uterus. They're in my mind.
One is a smart, eco-conscious, nutrition-minded person. The other likes to eat Nutella straight from the jar.
Have you seen the commercial where the mom tells you, "Nutella is made of nuts, milk and just a hint of cocoa with no artificial colors or preservatives"? She says it's a wholesome breakfast. I want to believe her. But...
Listen, carefully chosen TV Mom with brown hair who's just attractive enough to be appealing but not so attractive that I resent you, when I mix hazelnuts, milk and a hint of cocoa in a blender, it doesn't taste ANYTHING like the smooth, sweet, chocolatey magic of Nutella. Now, I'm not a professional chef. Perhaps my measurements are off. I'm guessing a "hint" of cocoa is a teaspoon of cocoa. If there is anyone, perhaps a chef, or a mathematician, or a mathematician/chef who knows the exact measurement of a hint, please advise. But I don't think that's the crucial element here.
I've got a jar of Nutella right here. Let me take a taste. Mmmm. There's definitely sugar in it, because - and I speak from experience - cocoa by itself tastes TERRIBLE. Whilst in the throes of a particularly desperate chocolate craving I tried sticking my finger in some Hershey's baking cocoa. Not only did it not satisfy my need for chocolate, but the bitterness and powdery consistency made my tongue recoil, shrivel and instantly dehydrate.
Let's look at the label. Yep, there's sugar. OK. I can add that. Let's try a tablespoon. Hmmm. Maybe a couple more. OK, it's sweeter, but I definitely wouldn't call this "spreadable". And you don't need a degree in chemistry to know that you can't mix milk, nuts and cocoa and put it on a shelf for years. If Nutella has no preservatives and it's made with milk and nuts, how does it not spoil? Hmmm. Let me have another spoonful while I look at the ingredients again. There's lecithin, which is an emulsifier from soybeans. An emulsifier makes it all mix together nicely. OK, that doesn't sound terrible.
One ingredient left. Palm oil. Ah. So that's why Nutella can have milk and nuts in it without the need for preservatives for refrigeration. Palm oil has a very long shelf life. It's one of the few saturated fats that comes from a vegetable. Saturated fats increase your cholesterol. That's the health concern. The environmental bummer is there's such a high demand for palm oil, farmers are destroying the rainforest habitats of orangutans so they can plant oil palms. So what you're telling me, Wikipedia entry on Palm Oil, is that by eating my beloved Nutella, I may be upping my cholesterol AND causing Orangutans to be homeless? Ugh! Why must everything DELICIOUS come with so much GUILT?
I'm just gonna have one more spoonful, then I'll write a letter to Nutella asking them to source their palm oil only from land that wasn't deforested to plant oil palms. Just one more lick...