What Makes a Great Chocolate Hazelnut Spread?

Breakfast doesn’t have to be boring anymore. Spread Nutella on your waffles for a delicious breakfast! A high quality chocolate hazelnut spread should lead with hazelnut and chocolate in aroma and flavor. Vanilla and toasty notes should support these intensities. There may also be some buttery and “other” nut notes present, but they should rise above the expected notes. The texture of the spread should be smooth and rich with some expected adhesiveness. It may also have some slight astringency and grittiness, but should not be waxy. The taste profile should lead with sweet, followed by salt, sour and some bitter. There should not be a “back of the throat” burn.

Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • adhesiveness

    The degree to which some foods stick to the tongue, teeth or upper palate; not to be confused with "cohesiveness," which is the degree to which food sticks together. Example: Peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth; white bread sticking to the teeth.

  • astringency

    The tendency of some foods to cause the mouth to pucker; often associated with the presence of tannins or acidity. Example: Red wine, tea, grapefruit juice and pickles can be astringent.

  • waxy

    When a product leaves a coating on the palate that does not dissolve easily. Example: Poor-quality chocolate, margarine and white chocolate can leave a waxy film after being swallowed.

  • taste profile

    The expected levels of each basic taste in any given food; defines the overall taste balance. Example: The taste profile of baking chocolate is led by bitterness that is balanced by a low amount of sweetness.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • salt

    One of the basic tastes; tasting of or containing salt. Example: Potato chips, sea water and cured meats all have a strong salt component.

  • sour

    One of the basic tastes; often considered sharp, tart and acidic. Example: Lemon juice, vinegar and fermented foods often have a strong sour component.

  • bitter

    One of the basic tastes; often considered harsh and unpleasant in abundance, but a key basic taste for foods like coffee and dark chocolate. Example: Unripened fruit, aspirin and coffee all have bitter components.