A girl named Nutella? Maybe nut… And ten other things you didn’t know about Nutella

Still high on the sugary love of International Nutella Day on February 5th (every year don’t ya know?) here are ten things you may not have known about Nutella.

Including some French parents who’ve been banned from naming their kid after the spread. Which is a very good thing.

Ten things you may not have known about Nutella:

1) The name is a result of combining the English word “nut” and the Latin suffix for sweet, “ella.”

2) One jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds throughout the world.

3) You could cover the Great Wall of China eight times with the number of jars of Nutella sold in a year.

4) You could circle the world 1.4 times with the amount of Nutella produced in one year.

5) Nutella became so popular in Italy that Italian markets began to offer free “smears” of Nutella to any child who showed up with a piece of bread. This trend was referred to as “The Smearing.” Which means something completely different on PornHub.

6) In the US in April 2012, Ferrero, maker of Nutella, was sued in a class action lawsuit for false advertising that led some to believe that Nutella carries nutritional and health benefits. They lost, ‘cos it doesn’t. Nutta one.

7) Nutritional breakdown: Nutella contains 70 percent saturated fat and processed sugar by weight. A two-tablespoon (37 gram) serving of Nutella contains 200 calories, including 99 calories from 11 grams of fat (3.5g of which are saturated) and 80 calories from 21 grams of sugar. In addition, the spread contains 15mg of sodium and 2g of protein per serving.

8) In summary: two tablespoons of Nutella contains 21 grams of sugar. That’s like, totes heaps.

9) In 1806, Napoleon tried to halt British commerce with a blockade that caused the cost of chocolate to go through the roof. So chocolatiers in Turin started adding chopped hazelnuts to stretch the supply. That’s where all this nuttiness started. World War II saw a chocolate shortage once more, so Italian pastry maker Pietro Ferrero in 1946 again added hazelnuts, originally producing a solid block which could be sliced and served on bread. Gross, but it’s why we now have Nutella.

fat kid Nutella

10) In late January of this year, a French court blocked parents from naming their baby girl Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery. The judge renamed the kid “Ella.”


Back in the 18th century, French parents were restricted to naming their offspring after a number of popular saints or famous figures. These laws were relaxed slightly in 1966, allowing for alternative spellings and foreign names among others. It has only been since 1993 that French parents have been allowed to name their children as they please, and a registrar can still step in if he thinks the name is a bit too creative or could subject the child to mockery.

Which is ace, and this is not without precedent in the rest of the world.

In Texas, a child was called “Messiah.” This went to court and the judge said, “No. Your child is now called Martin. (Slams down gavel.) Done. Next.”

There should definitely be a lot more of this.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where these are all the official names of actual humans: Lucifer, Anal, V8, #16 Bus Shelter, Chardonnay, Audio Science, Pilot Inspektor, Ahmiracle, Shady, Younique, Burger, Thin & Taco BM Monster.

More popular than ever seem to be the names that are just regular words. Celebrities seem to be mad for this. Recently we’ve had Apple, North West, Blue Ivy and Brooklyn.

That last one apparently came about because that’s where Posh and Becks conceived the kid. Even if that’s true…well that’s information you shouldn’t share with anyone ever.

It’s also horrifying to contemplate what would happen if that trend caught on. The world would be flooded with names such as “Back Alley”, “Spare Bedroom” and “Disabled Toilet”.

There are also those normal names misspelled in order to be “original.” A schoolteacher friend of mine had a student named Kylie, which the parents had spelt “Kyleigh”. In an act of defiance, my friend made a point of spelling her name Kylie on the young girl’s report card. At the parent-teacher evening, the girl’s parents walked up to my friend, shoved the report card in his face and said, “Look here! It says Kylie. That’s not how you spell our daughter’s name.”

He stared back at them and said, “I think you’ll find that it is.”

Misspelling your child’s name does not make them original, special or destined for greatness. All they become destined for is a life full of correcting people who try to spell their name the accepted way. A person’s name is an arbitrary tag attached to them before anyone knows anything about them. Perhaps in order to pick more appropriate names, a person’s 21st birthday should be celebrated with a “name day” where a name is bestowed based on what sort of person they are.

It’d force people to lead a more productive childhood for fear of ending up with a name like Idiot, Moron or Fabian.

A “different” name does not make a person special or different. Those are qualities earned through hard work and dedication, and it makes no difference if that person is named Mary, Seven or Rysk.

What we need is a register like a “Name Dictionary.” Then if you wish to invent a new name, there should be a board that adjudicates whether or not to add that name to the dictionary.

If it’s a “no” then you need to pick another name.

If you refuse, one will be chosen for you.

Good on the French for already doing something similar.

Shame on the whole rest of the world, however, where horror acts of child-naming are so frequent that a “Name Dictionary” is even necessary.

Which leads to a far more dangerous question:

If you can’t be even trusted to get the simple act of giving the thing a name right,

should you be even popping one out in the first place?


This article first appeared in The Big Smoke:


Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

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