I honestly could have wept in the aisle of Asda when I found this!
Nature’s Store Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread. Does exactly what it says on the, erm, squeezy bottle. Being a self-confessed Nutellaholic, the need was bound to come at some point. And that some point would have probably been sooner rather than later. When the work is piling up, the stress is taking over and the urge to declare my desk a twit free zone becomes overwhelming, I can always rely on that sweet little pot to give me the energy to push on. Just a teaspoon, not a lot, a little dip is all it takes to remind me that there are genuinely good things in the world that nobody can take away.
Until now. No more Nutella for me. I hadn’t quite understood the gravity of this as I had not yet found myself in a dire situation where I wanted, nay NEEDED a shot of Nutella.
I had briefly glanced upon the Nature’s Store spread whilst perusing the internet for Vegan friendly produce and had thought nothing of it. It just kind of filed itself away at the back of my mind as I was looking for something else in particular at the time. Probably a milk alternative. That is just a minefield in itself! So, after wandering around Asda, reading 400 different labels of products that one would have assumed would be vegan (why does everything contain some kind of milk derivative?), I was ready to go home, curl up and resolve myself to a life of fresh fruit, vegetables and plain bread. I just had time to pop down the ‘free from’ aisle on the way to the tills so thought I would see what they had on offer. I have always liked the Alpro dessert pots so great, I can stock up on those whilst I am here. Then, scanning the shelves, I spied a less than golden brown bottle that looked vaguely familiar.
Oh my goodness! It was like a light had switched on behind my eyes. My brain took very little time putting two and two together, which in itself was a miracle as severe pregnancy brain has recently rendered me pretty much useless for the majority of the time. But this, this it understood. Some kind of primal instinct took over, snatched up that bad boy from the shelf and quickly secured him deep in my trolley where nobody could ever take him away from me. Never! He’s all mine, mine, mine! I wasted no time hitting the checkout after that and, having lost my partner after sending him off for a bag of peas, I was left to load and pack alone. Ok, so that wasn’t actually a bad thing, trust me, it’s easier to do it on my own.
Later that evening, back at home, with all of the shopping secured away in the cupboards, I wondered… Will it taste anywhere near like Nutella? I mean, I’m not asking for miracles here, I know it won’t be exactly the same, but what if it is awful? What if I don’t like it and have to face the fact that chocolate spread has left my life forever? I had to know so I snuck into the cupboard and removed the lid for a little taste. Finding a seal across the top of the bottle I peeled it back and was in luck. Some of the cocoa spread was on the seal. Like a kid with a yoghurt pot lid I licked that little circular disc until I’m sure I was just eating plastic remnants, I had to be sure now didn’t I?
The result? You will be pleased to know, from the small taste I had, that Nature’s Store Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread is pretty darn close to the almighty heaven that is Nutella. The spread is ever so slightly sweeter than Nutella, I think, but that just means one would need to use less of it I suppose. I haven’t gotten round to using it in an actual sandwich or anything yet but I am holding out hope that I will not be disappointed. I think. I hope. If I was a religious person I might even go so far as to pray…