Posted by Simon
Deep in the earth, north of the Chocolate mines of Perugia and under the hazelnut forests of Umbria an amazing phenomenon occurs. The volcanic heat melts a seam of the chocolate; forces beyond our grasp press it upward through the deep roots of the hazelnut forest. The chocolate is forced onward perhaps through natural fissures, perhaps through channels created long ago by the Romans, the Etruscans or the gods themselves. No one knows. Finally high above Gubbio at a secret place known only to a few the substance now known as Nutella rises to the surface.
High above Gubbio in Umbria
It seeps slowly out of seemingly solid rocks. It is so pure that it needs no processing. It is gathered and placed in jars (or in those handy single serving packages) and shipped throughout the world. A food so sweet that honey bees stay away from it, so smooth that it spreads evenly anywhere and so supernatural that it never requires refrigeration.
The spring, now called Nutella, was first discovered by the Roman General Sweetius in 45AD and named “Fons Nutellium Sweetius.” Which translates as the spring of nutty stuff discovered by Sweetius. There is evidence, sticky pottery chards etc, that the Nutellium was sold in Rome and as far away as Pompeii.
Knowledge of the spring was lost in 450AD when the Vandals sacked Rome. It was not rediscovered permanently until the 20th century although there are some stains that might be chocolate on the page that Michelangelo wrote about a substance from Umbria that is “sweeter than honey”. In 1945 a young American soldier of Italian descent, Claude Cavoli, was patrolling the hills above Gubbio when he slipped on a seep of a brown substance. Suspecting the worst he sniffed his finger and was pleasantly surprised. He returned to the spring a few days later and discovered the ancient Roman inscription on a stone in a pile of rubble nearby: “Nutellium.”
Roman inscription discovered at the spring.
The rest, of course, is common knowledge. Within a few years the Italian national flavor was reintroduced to the world and the world is a sweeter place.