Ciao a tutti!
We caroused the grocery stores in Italy looking for chocolate hazelnut spreads that were vegan! What a great treasure hunt it was!
We all know the famous one, Nutella made by Ferrero, right? It was actually introduced back in 1964 so has been around quite a while and in fact this is partly what makes Italy famous! But Nutella is not vegan friendly, at least not yet. There is powdered milk along with the ingredients, so for us vegans…..we need to move on.
Another is one made by Fior di Frutta: Nocciolata. No, sorry not vegan. This one also includes milk. You can enjoy their jams, however, because they are all made with fruit pectin being the gelatinous ingredient and NOT fish gelatin.
Valsoia came up on our list of chocolate hazelnut spreads. This spread is industrial made. Though the main ingredients on the label come up as vegan (made with soy powder), the emulsifier — lecithin — is not specific whether it is animal or vegetable based. It is also produced on machines that produce products with milk.
We did find some vegan spreads under the brand Deanocciola. The Under 18 Piccolo Principe was rich and strong on the chocolate taste. Hazelnuts, vegetable & sunflower oil, cocoa and fructose are the ingredients. If chocolate is the weak spot, go for this one! It is 100% vegan. They also make nut butters and tahini spread.
If carob is the preferred taste, we found one by Probios. It is made in Italy and uses carob instead of chocolate. It still has the hazelnut taste, but not as strong and made with fructose. If a sweeter hazelnut spread is what you like, go for this one. It is 100% vegan!
We also found one in Modica, Sicily that is artigianale, meaning it’s a small operation of only a couple or 3 people and absolutely yummy! We spoke directly with the owner, who is 100% vegan. They use 46% hazelnuts, natural cane sugar, vanilla bourbon and soy milk as a base. You can find it directly at the factory store, Il Modicano. You can also find it at several NaturaSi locations or Vegabasics in Germany, soon to expand into Italy 🙂