Aug 9, 2011

Team Nutella Taste Test

After learning that Nutella is different around the world, we decided to purchase various sorts of the Italian-invented hazlenut spread from throughout Europe to compare to the American version, as a fun little game at the end of our Euro project.

Wikipedia has an interesting chart that compares Nutella ingredients around the world. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutella) The main differences are cocoa content, milk content, and the type of oil used to make the spread. These variations inevitably lead to an assortment of nuances between flavors, smells, appearances, and viscosities.

In this test, we tried 5 types of Nutella from the following countries:
Belgium, Switzerland (Made in Austria), United States of America (Made in Canada), Germany, and Sweden.


8 subjects participated in the test, and were asked to evaluate each spread based on it's colour, scent, and flavor.  The Nutella was presented on numbered metal spoons. Each number corresponded to a country. The test subjects (us!) were unaware of the origin of each Nutella sample.

The evaluations recorded by each subject are detailed in the three charts below, under “Appearnace”, “Scent”, and “Flavour”.  Here are the results:


Appearance


Lex Jo MoJo Mary Anne Denise Erik Mandy
Belgium Similar to USA (shiny) ? (3) Dark Dry Lightest (5) Lightest (1) Very oily (5)
Switzerland Most viscous looking Light Lightest (5) Milky Ok (2) (3) Better than 1 (3)
USA Similar to Belgium
(shiny)
Brown between (4) Medium dark Yum (4) (4) Slightly more than 1 (4)
Germany Matte brown Thick, dark (2) Dark Dry (3) (2) (2)
Sweden Darkest Dark Darkest (1) Very dark Looks luscious Darkest (1) (1) (1)

Scent


Lex Jo MoJo Mary Anne Denise Erik Mandy
Belgium Doesn't smell much No smell More nuts

Shit (5) (5) Weak (5)
Switzerland Little chocolate smell, mostly nuts Nutty



Some OK (2) (4) (3)
USA Light smell, chocolate and hazelnut No smell



Not great (4) (3) (4)
Germany Strong nut scent Slightly more scent than USA Second highest chocolate scent

OK (3) (2) (2)
Sweden Chocolately Chocolate scent Chocolatiest

Yum (1) (1) (1)

Flavour


Lex Jo MoJo Mary Anne Denise Erik Mandy
Belgium Not sweet (5) OK...but... Most nuts by taste and smell (4) Blah Not so hot (4) (4) (5)
Switzerland Similar to Germany, nutty, not too sweet FAV (1) Best (1) Least taste (american?) Strong and powerful hazelnuts (FAV) Tasteless (5) (5) (3)
USA Good! (4) Good mix choc & nut. (2) (3) Nutty and thick Tasteless (3) (3) (4)
Germany Very viscous, vanillay FAV (1) American (Wrong!)
No nut flavor. Not great
2nd best, 2nd darkest (2) Bland Second best, very sweet (2) (1) (2)
Sweden Very sweet & chocolatey, not much nut (3) Similar to Germany Best (Sweden?) RIGHT (1) Super chocolatey taste! (OTHER FAV) Amazing (1) (1) (2) (1)

We unanimously agreed that the Swedish Nutella was the darkest. The majority of us found it the most appealling, except for suject 1 who prefered the matte-brown colour of the German Nutella. All testers who commented on the scent also agreed that the Swedish Nutella smelled the chocolatiest.

Here's the most important part: Taste
Belgium: Didn't fare well. Ranked 4th and 5th place out of the 5 Nutellas, amongst all participants.
Switzerland: Mixed feelings! Several of us chose this one as their favorite, and several chose it as their least favorite
USA: Ranked mid-way between the 5 Nutellas
Germany: Relatively good results, several of 1st and 2nd places! One person found it bland though
Sweden: When the results are averaged, this is the favorite!

So here's the verdict:
American Nutella isn't as bad as lots of people make it out to be. Swedish Nutella is the most chocolately. and people who prefer a less sweet, and more nutty spread will tend to like German and Swiss Nutella the best, (although the German Nutella ranked better than the Swiss one). Belgian Nutella: of course, it's still Nutella, but it's the least favorite out of all 5 types tested. Belgium loses! But they win for their waffles...

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