While walking around the Union Square area I was struck by the number of chocolate stores, bars and cafes I saw.  The one with the largest crowd, extending to a queue outside waiting to go in was the newly opened Nutella Cafe. It made me wonder about the history of the chocolate-hazelnut spread that I’d always been vaguely aware of.  It turns out that Nutella descends from a hazelnut and cocoa paste that was fairly common in Piemonte in the period between the two world wars.  Chocolate was expensive and the paste was a cheaper treat. Pietro Ferrero, the founder of a family-owned pastry shop in Alba, used the paste in many of his successful creations.  His son Michele was responsible for the industrial level production of the paste, now known as Nutella, with its characteristic jars and logo. The popularity of Nutella spread throughout Italy and Europe starting in the early 1960s and reaching its current iconic status.  Many of my friends love Nutella in all its forms and various (younger) family members seem to consume vast quantities of it.  They would be delighted with the Cafe:  it features all sorts of Nutella based confections from cakes to ice cream, brioche sandwiches, parfaits and more.  There’s even a section to create your own dessert. Nutella fans can indulge and satisfy their wildest dreams!