Gianduja is a unique Italian chocolate, traditionally prepared by mixing 30% hazelnuts with chocolate paste. Originally, gianduja was just a dense chocolate spread with delicate aroma, and it was created during the Continental System blockade in the 19th century. Cocoa beans became luxurious, hard to come by ingredients, so Italian chocolatiers were forced to experiment their way out of the chocolate deficit. So, to preserve cocoa supplies, Italians mixed chocolate with 30% hazelnut paste, resulting in a creamier texture and well-balanced flavor profile of a spread that soon became the talk of the town. So, gianduja chocolate, just like the spread, is made with not only cocoa beans but a noticeable amount of hazelnut paste, too.
The great-great grandmother of Nutella - gianduja was the first chocolate spread ever made throughout Europe, and we have Michele Prochet to thank for that. While having his back to the wall, the chocolatier still didn’t let Napoleon ruin the Italian heritage of chocolate-making - he was the one who came up with, what seemed at the time, a mind-blowing idea of mixing hazelnuts from Langhe hills with chocolate paste to preserve the supplies. Well, what can we say? It’s clear how much Italians love their chocolate, right?! Pretty sure they would do nearly everything to fight back the blockade; however, with the brilliant mind of Michele Prochet, they were destined for something even tastier than regular chocolate.