Nutella landed on our shores in the late 1970s and we have not looked back since. But in a food-obsessed city like ours, we're not content to just lash it on a slice of white. We're talking next level – and beyond. Here are 10 places that are doing deliciously inventive things with this spoonable chocolate gold.
What a perfect vehicle for Nutella – a neat spoonful enveloped in a thin, crimped wonton wrapper. At Japanese eatery Peko Peko gyoza are filled with Nutella, deep-fried, then dusted with icing sugar and served with ice-cream (black sesame or green tea). The hot, crisp shell, the oozing centre, the cooling, ice-cream – you know it makes sense.
Peko Peko, 199 Smith Street, Fitzroy
Gelato is a vehicle ripe for Nutella experimentation, so get yourself along to N2 Extreme Gelato and see if you can catch the Ferrero Reveal – a crafted volcano of Nutella gelato swirled with crushed hazelnuts and rice bubbles, its peak coated in Ice Magic to create a crisp shell, stabbed with a syringe of warm chocolate ganache, ready for you to inject. Wild.
N2 Extreme Gelato, 18 Sutherland Street, Melbourne
Coffee and a doughnut is a pretty wicked breakfast combination, but once in a while, why not? For an elegant version, go to Ladro for their weekend 'breakfast bombs' – three plum-sized, sugar-rolled doughnuts, cut through the middle and spread with Nutella and a sprinkle of praline. Back it up with a smoky black coffee. Plus it has the word 'breakfast' in it, so that makes it okay, right?
Ladro Greville, 162 Greville St, Prahran; Ladro Gertrude, 224 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
This cocktail combines house-made dark chocolate-infused vodka with Drambuie, tawny port, chestnut liqueur, milk, cream, a dash of coconut syrup and a spoonful of Nutella. The result is surprisingly punchy, and not as rich and sweet as you might expect. It's served with a shard of hazelnut-studded chocolate (made by melting Swiss chocolate with Nutella). They also served Nutella cocktail truffles, crafted by Mmm Truffles in Lakes Entrance.
Polly, 401 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Swiping a bit of Nutella on a hot waffle is de rigeur, but at the Grand Trailer Park Taverna, it's a more Herculean concern. This upstairs, indoors 'trailer park' serves a waffle stack in two sizes. The Giant Waffle Stack, is a group shared dessert of waffles sandwiching airy mountains of whipped Nutella parfait, whipped cream and strawberries, drizzled in Nutella sauce and served with your own jar of Nutella on the side. This is hardcore.
Grand Trailer Park Taverna, 87 Bourke Street, Melbourne
The jaffle is the classic Australian comfort snack, and at Bad Frankie you can get the Jam Rizzle, a white bread jaffle with a tummy full of Nutella, raspberry jam, walnuts and marshmallows, served in a basket with a side of coconut sprinkled cream. It's like a rock 'n' roll CWA in every bite.
Bad Frankie, 141 Greeves Street, Fitzroy
Sure, some may argue that a calzone is just an introverted pizza, keeping its tasty talents on the inside. But there's something significantly richer about them in this format. Many pizzerias have Nutella calzones with added banana or strawberry, but for our money, we like the daintier, more manageable 'Tilyan' at the Moor's Head, a modern Middle Eastern pizza place. It's a neat triangle about the size of a pastizzi, with a manageable little scoop of Nutella inside a soft, bready dough, and perfect with Lebanese coffee.
Moor's Head, 774 High Street, Thornbury
There are multiple variations on the Nutella cheesecake, and many can be a bit heavy-going. For a feather-light version, Brunetti does a gorgeously airy ricotta cheesecake, ribboned with thick streaks of Nutella and dusted with dark cocoa. It's light and silky, and doesn't leave you needing a lie-down afterwards.
Brunetti, 380 Lygon Street, Carlton
Okay, Nutella on a sweet pizza isn't that unusual. But in keeping with the zeitgeist and amping up the sugar quotient for spiral-eyed good times, the Happy Camper food truck does a fun version, slathering a toasty base with Nutella, a scattering of M&Ms, banana, a drizzle of maple syrup and a dusting of icing sugar – for the sweet tooths.
Happy Camper, various locations, happycamperpizza.com.au
Anyone who's looking to replicate that toasty Parisian crepe experience should get along to La Petite Creperie. It's a tiny red-checked bolt-hole of a crepe station in an old newsstand on the corner of Swanston and Little Collins. Here you can get a tissue-thin crepe cooked to order, spread with Nutella, sprinkled with almonds and folded into quarters. It's the perfect warm luxury on the go.
La Petite Creperie, corner Swanston and Little Collins Streets, Melbourne
Nutella was created by Pietro Ferrero in the 1940s. Cocoa beans weren't easily available because of rationing during WWII, so instead he mixed toasted hazelnuts with cocoa butter and vegetable oils to create 'pasta gianduja', later tweaking the recipe to make it more spreadable and renaming it Nutella.