Spread Or Dessert Topping? The Question Freaking Out US Nutella Lovers

Italian company Ferrero has launched a national poll in Washington to clear up the controversy surrounding Nutella's identity, once and for all

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Nutella Giphy | ELLE UK
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Whether you enjoy biting into a crispy slab of brown toast slathered in Nutella, baking it in banana bread or find yourself licking it off the spoon after a night out, there's something about the delectable gooey texture and nutty flavour that has us salivating at the mere thought of a spoonful.

But, what actually is Nutella?

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Yeah, yeah we know it's a spread but could it actually be a dessert topping? A dessert topping that can also be a spread? A spread with a Sasha Fierce-inspired alter ego? Should it sit along the confectionary goods of Twirls and Snicker bars or between tubs of honey and jam? We just don't know.

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Well, it looks like we're not the only ones questioning the treat's identity as the regulators at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are finding out once and for all whether Nutella is a 'spread' or a 'topping' – for the sake of chocolate, spreads and mankind.

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The FDA is currently holding a referendum (take that, Brexit) asking the American public for comments on how they would categorise our favourite breakfast/lunch/dinner-time snack.

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The name of the poll? *Deep breathe*

Reference Amount Customarily Consumed for Flavored Nut Butter Spreads and Products That Can Be Used To Fill Cupcakes and Other Desserts, in the Labeling of Human Food Products; Request for Information and Comments.

With a title like that, you know this sh*t is serious.

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Since 1993, Nutella has been categorised by the government as a dessert topping as a result of a 1991 consumer survey that showed that a 'significant' number of people admitted to using Nutella as a dessert topping for ice cream.

This, in turn, meant that the average serving size of Nutella was considered to amount to two tablespoons (clearly, they had Borrower-sized people in mind because no real-life human being limits themselves to just two spoonfuls).

As a result, such grouping hasn't gone down well with Nutella's Italian manufacturer Ferrero, who believe it should be associated with other sweet spreads, like honey and jam.

Right, this might sound insignificant, but for American Nutella lovers this makes a big difference.

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If Nutella is reclassified then the recommended daily intake on its labels will have to change given that the size that's currently recommended to calculate a 'commonly consumed portion' would have to fall from two tablespoons to just one in the US.

Basically, if it changes grouping, Americans will be advised to just enjoy one spoonful of the chocolatey heaven instead of two (the UK, France and Australia use one tablespoon as an average serving size, unfortunately).

Don't panic, guys. Don't panic.

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Here's how you can help. The poll closes on 3rd January so you have plenty of time to cast your vote on how you classify Nutella.

Unsurprisingly, it's not the first time Ferrero has caused controversy with the identity of Nutella.

In 2012, Ferrero launched its own survey and found 74 per cent of participants eat Nutella with bread (toasted or in a sandwich), six per cent have it on its own (holla!) and five percent chose 'other' as their reply (which can be presumed only to mean they enjoy rubbing it all over the bodies or taking a bath in the spreadable goodness).

If you thought voting in the US Presidential election was important, you've got another thing coming...

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