French attack on Nutella
Since M. Hollande’s has turned the rich French into tax exiles (rumor has it Gerard Depardieu is next), he has turned his sights on Nutella for his next source of tax revenue.
I love Nutella. I first discovered it in a spooky Romanesque Benedictine Convent high in the Spanish Pyranees. It was a closed, silent order and once the nuns were deposited there, they never left, and were even buried on convent grounds. These were the ugly daughters, the irritating aunts, and the mentally ill. Only a special few were allowed to take care of the visitors who brought in a bit of extra cash. Every morning they served chocolate pudding and Marie cookies for breakfast. Nutella was on the table like we put catsup and mustard. I couldn’t get enough of it.
Most of the time, things were calm, but every once in a while one of the nuns would go off, shrieking in antique Spanish, turning into a terrifying black flapping thing. They never hit us, they just kicked our bare ankles with their big black combat boots. I learned to run like the wind whenever a nun got ruffled.
My one friend there was a Brit whose name was also Priscilla, but she was called Pippen. The two of us got the munchies around 1 am one night and sneaked into the kitchen for something to eat. We found jars of Nutella which we took to the “library” and devoured. Soon, there were about five empty jars hidden behind the sofa—until one of the nuns found them. Just as I was heading downstairs to breakfast, I spotted her with all those empty jars in her arms. Knowing what was coming, I flew down the worn stone corridor and out the door before she could kick me.
You’d think we were taking an illegal substance for all uproar there was over a few jars of Nutella. The entire tiny Spanish town knew about the Nutella affair and teased us mercilessly. I still love it and so does my family. We don’t put it on bread or Marie cookies, but warm it up and pour it over ice cream.
Every once in a while I think about the wording on the label. It’s called a spread. It’s not called chocolate sauce. The occasional niggle is triggered by a product labeled “spread” that was provided for hungry workers at a job I once had. The owner provided free soda crackers and cans of what was sort of like an inferior pate. I ate it until I noticed that the first ingredient was ox lips. I wasn’t sure what part of the ingredients translated to “spread.” Surely there was no place for ox lips in Nutella, but once in a while I’d worry about what the stuff was actually made of.
Thanks to M. Hollande, I now know that Nutella is 20% palm oil.
M. Hollande has shifted his laser focus from the pockets and bank accounts of movie stars and industrialist to breakfast spread. He announced a 400 percent increase in the tax on palm oil. Palm oil is bad for you according the French president, because it’s a saturated fat. In one fell swoop, the French government can raise money and protect the health of the millions of people who guzzle Nutella.
The Italian company that makes Nutella, Ferrero, is collectively scratching its head. They claim the tax will raise the cost of a jar of Nutella by .06 Euro cents. Certainly not enough to discourage the majority of Europeans who serve Nutella for breakfast or Americans who slather it on ice cream. But it might be enough to pull France out of the red.
But wait! That’s not all!