Nutella. That rich chocolate hazelnut spread that tastes like heaven but costs a less than desirable price. Fortunately, the Northwestern dining halls supply a constantly replenishing stock of Nutella.
To take complete advantage of this opportunity, we explored other possible pairings beyond the basic Nutella sandwich. The best combinations happen when the Nutella-food pairing synthesizes a new flavor and doesn’t taste of its separate components. In general, crispy or firm food adheres well to Nutella while mushy and especially watery food dilutes the spread and causes flavors to remain separate. The following five items are some different combinations we tried, all using food readily available in the dining hall.
Banana: Admittedly, this is a somewhat standard combination, but it looks cute, and chocolate and bananas always go well together. It’s a little painstaking to slice the banana and dab some Nutella on the top, but being able to pop banana slices into your mouth one by one is a satisfying product of that labor.
Orange: We had high hopes for this combination because we love the taste of chocolate infused with orange, but the opposite doesn’t work. Although the Nutella stuck well to the skin, the flesh is so engorged with juice that when it bursts, the chocolate and orange flavors swim away from each other. Although the flavor isn’t bad per se, the obvious disunity indicates they should be eaten separately.
Watermelon: Sometimes rules can be broken, as is the case with watermelon. The crispy crunch of the watermelon ultimately overrides its watery nature, and thank goodness because Nutella watermelon is fantastic! It reminds me of a watermelon milkshake, and the room temperature spread warms the coldness of the watermelon, which is great for people with temperature-sensitive teeth. Spread Nutella directly on top of watermelon cubes or slices – don’t dip the fruit into your jar, which will eventually ruin the Nutella.
Hamburger and fries: It may be hard to believe, but the Nutella burger is actually incredible. Perhaps the least obvious pairing of the five, it works because the richness of Nutella enhances the flavor of the meat instead of tasting like you just added chocolate on top. Skip all other toppings and spread Nutella on both buns for even flavor.
If you’re the kind of person who puts potato chips on your peanut butter sandwich, put a few fries inside the burger for some added crunch. French fries and Nutella are a match meant to be. When looking for the perfect condiment for your fries, skip the sometimes overly sweet ketchup and dip into Nutella, which blends well with the slight saltiness of the French fries.
And there you have it. Try the weirdest Nutella-food combinations you can think of and see what happens. You won’t regret it.