Packed with crunchy, flavorful Piedmont hazelnuts, this nocciolone gianduja chocolate bar from D. Barbero is a delicious taste of northern Italy. A solid bar of the chocolate-hazelnut blend known as gianduja (think Nutella but way, way better) is studded through with whole roasted hazelnuts for a delightfully nutty, sweet showcase of this region’s most beloved product. It’s made by a family of local chocolatiers who have been a sweet staple in the region for 140 years.
There’s no sweet more characteristically Piedmontese than gianduja. It was created out of necessity in the early 1800s, when Napoleon blocked all French allies—including Italy—from trading goods with the British. This restriction of British supplies included cocoa, which forced Italian chocolatiers to get a bit creative to stretch their supply. They turned to an ingredient they had in abundance: the plump, flavorful hazelnuts that grow in the Langhe mountains, just south of Turin. The chocolate masters created a spread of roughly 70% cocoa and 30% hazelnut paste, and gianduja was born! Today, Turin is famous for this delicious chocolate innovation.
For seven generations, the Barbero family have been making delicious sweets in Asti, just east of Turin. Part of the Piedmont’s proud chocolate-making tradition, D. Barbero has been selling high-quality torrone and chocolates since 1883. They use local nocciole Piemontese—the ultra-flavorful hazelnuts that only grow in Piedmont—and chocolate sourced from the finest cacao-growing regions of the world to ensure the highest quality in everything they make. Barbero is so dedicated to tradition, their headquarters in Asti are home to a chocolate museum! Their Easter goodies are beloved by local children, who line the courtyard outside their shop and factory to admire the colorfully wrapped and decorated treats.