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Nuts for Nutella

My teenage boys are nuts for Nutella. I rarely buy it, though. The chocolate-hazelnut spread is made from (take a deep breath) sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skimmed milk powder, whey powder, lecithin, and vanillin.

If this is about smart snacks during the day, I’d much rather my kids eat bananas, blueberries, oatmeal, apples, healthy-grain toast, and other smart choices. And if they’re going to eat chocolate, I’d rather they eat dark chocolate. (I can’t help it. I’m a Type-A mom in the Empire State.)

Now, however, for people in the Chicago area, and for those who visit, lovers of the chocolate-hazelnut spread will be able to eat Nutella to their heart’s content.

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“The world’s first official Nutella café will open in Chicago near Millennium Park this month,” a Fox News report noted Thursday morning. “The restaurant — owned and operated by Ferrero, the Italian candy company behind Nutella — says it will offer lovers of the spread a complete Nutella experience, from the menu down to the decor.”

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Angela Baird, director of operations at BIG Retail — who consulted with Ferrero — told the Chicago Tribune, “It’s designed to make you feel like you’re actually walking into a jar of Nutella.”

For those who would relish this sweet experience, here’s more detail from the Fox report:

Visitors will find a wide range of not just sweet but savory menu options, both with and without the popular spread. A few specialty offerings are warm, grilled baguettes with Nutella, fresh-roasted hazelnut and blueberry granola with yogurt and Nutella, or Liège waffles topped with warm fruit compote, toasted hazelnuts, and a Nutella drizzle. For those with less of a sweet tooth, the cafe has a variety of paninis, soups and salads.

The two-story space has an open floor plan with communal tables and café-style seating, while upstairs there are roundabout red couches and even a fireplace, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“We wanted to create a world of Nutella for our fans that could truly capture the essence of the brand — not just in the dishes that will be served, but in the full experience from the moment you step into the space,” said Noah Szporn, head of marketing at Nutella North America.

The outfit will have “Nutella-colored embellishments” on the ceiling and red accents inspired by the Nutella logo, according to the Tribune. In other words — you really will feel like you’re inside that chocolate jar.

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The Nutella Café will open for business on May 31. The first 400 visitors will receive a free menu item — along with the chance to win other special surprises, according to Ferrero in a press release.