On their Italian journey last year, our world travelers, Jana and Lorna, stopped by the little cafe in Montepagano and enjoyed Nutella crepes. Little did they realize that soon Chicago would boast the first stand – alone permanent Nutella cafe!
But first a little history on where Nutella came from…
Pietro Ferrero, who owned a bakery in Alba, Piedmont, an area known for the production of hazelnuts, sold an initial batch of 300 kilograms (660 lb) of “Pasta Gianduja” in 1946. At the time, there was very little chocolate because cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. Ferrero instead used hazelnuts, which are plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy (northwest), to extend the limited chocolate supply. This product, called “Pasta Gianduja” was originally sold as a solid block, but Ferrero started to sell a creamy version in 1951 as “Supercrema”.
In 1963, Ferrero’s son Michele Ferrero revamped Supercrema with the intention of marketing it throughout Europe. Its composition was modified and it was renamed “Nutella”. The first jar of Nutella left the factory in Alba on 20 April 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular.
And now fast forward to May 31, 2017…
America’s first Nutella cafe opens!
People enter the cafe through a door shaped like a Nutella jar, which also includes pendants shaped like hazelnut flowers and a ceiling designed to remind customers of Nutella waves.
The 2nd floor of the cafe features a fireplace.
Their menu goes beyond sweet stuff with savory sandwiches and salads made with the hazelnut spread, including panini with speck ham from the same Italian region where the spread originated.
Nutella has held cafe pop-ups across the country but nothing permanent like this new one in Chicago. Chicago is well known for it’s flourishing food scene, so it was a top choice for the Windy City to be home to the first cafe.
So next time the guys are back in the U.S.A. those of you in Chicago, be on the look out for a famous Italian singer who just happens to love Nutella.
You just never know who you may run into at this very cafe!!
Nutella Cafe, 189 N. Michigan Ave., (312) 729-5186, open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
For those of you from out of town, if you take the train, the Nutella Café is just a little over a mile from Union Station and about a 30 minute walk. If you walk, then you won’t feel too guilty about eating there! 🙂
Photo and story credits to Eater Chicago, Wikipedia and Facebook.