I compared the new spread of Pan di Stelle with the legendary Nutella.
I really did my homework and did the actual tasting. I have not been paid (unfortunately) for this, but to be honest, I limited the tasting to Pan di Stelle, not Nutella, because I know the latter very well. It is practically in my DNA! … and there is only so much tasting that I can do…
Pan di Stelle cream
“Great attention was paid to the nutritional profile, specifically to the content of sugar and saturated fats: for the latter aspect, the absence of palm oil in the recipe is highlighted, in line with all Barilla products on the market today “. In short, they want to make it clear they are no Nutella!
The scents and aromas are round and complete, recalling hazelnut cream and cocoa in a fairly consistent and faithful way to the raw materials. The scent is well expressed and also (obviously) sweet. Unlike other creams, it is enriched with grain of Pan di Stelle biscuits, which gives it an even more pleasing, crunchy note, in short, a characteristic that enriches a product that is already quite rich in itself. I must say though, that you can enjoy the crunchy part better when you just spoonful-it-straight-into-your-mouth, rather than when it is spread on bread, crackers, or other vehicles!
It is fluid on the palate, just as a spreadable cream should be. The aroma is less exuberant, less complete and round, and leaves a slight bitter tail. On the palate, it has a slightly sticky consistency, perhaps due to palm oil, which is what I like. Nutella envelops you like in a warm affectionate hug!
Both do not have the amiable aromatic persistence of the gentle hazelnut that is expected from a gianduia cream. That hazelnut flavor that is instead found in certain artisanal spreads, which in addition to the length of the sensations.
Both creams have a low content of hazelnuts (13.7% Pan di Stelle Vs 13% Nutella, while some artisan creams even reach 45%). The list of ingredients is almost identical. The most important difference is in the choice of sunflower oil for the Pan di Stelle (Nutella contains palm oil instead), which on a total of 30 g of fat, per 100 g of product, contains 5.3 g of saturated fat, compared to the 10 g of the Ferrero cousin. However, it should be noted that the consumption of sunflower oil can unbalance the optimal ratio between omega three and omega six in favor of the latter, causing, in the long run, a greater inflammatory response of the body with increased production of free radicals. Saturated fats, of which palm oil is richer, do not have a pro-inflammatory power. On the other hand [palm oil has been in the center of public opinion and mass media more for an ecological than an unhealthy issue.
Too much sugar
But the real big problem of these two spreadable creams is not so much the fat content as the sugar content. In both products sugar is the first ingredient on the list and on 100 g of spreadable cream, the Pan di Stelle contains 51 g of sugar, Nutella 56.3 g.
Also, in the ingredients of the Pan di Stelle, there are also those of the homonymous biscuits as they are crumbled inside and the list gets even longer with wheat flour, fresh eggs, powdered egg white, sugar … They are certainly not products to be demonized if consumed one-off or for sporadic use that does not go beyond once a week.
In short, if I must have a winner considering all the parameters, the new Pan di Stelle from the nutritional point of view gets the first place, although the emotional bond to Nutella is unbeatable.
Pan di Stelle Cream ingredients:
hazelnut and cocoa cream (sugar, sunflower oil, Italian hazelnuts 13.7%, low-fat cocoa 9.8%, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, emulsifier: sunflower lecithin, vanillin flavor);
2% Pan di Stelle biscuit grain [wheat flour, sugar, sunflower oil, butter, high quality pasteurized fresh milk, cocoa, chocolate (cocoa paste, sugar, cocoa butter, natural vanilla flavor, emulsifier: lecithin of soy), fresh eggs, honey, hazelnuts, wheat starch, raising agents (sodium hydrogen carbonate, ammonium acid carbonate), salt, flavorings, egg white powder, starch].
If the list seems much longer than the Ferrero spread, it is because the characterizing ingredient is the grain of Pan di Stelle biscuits, as we had anticipated, with all the additions on the label it entails.
- Palm oil;
- hazelnuts (13%);
- skimmed milk powder (8.7%);
- low-fat cocoa (7.4%);
- soy lecithin;
- vanilla flavor
Ingredients in descending order, from most to least predominant.
Calories? Pan di Stelle cream has 79 for 15 grams (about a teaspoon), where Nutella provides 81.6.