Every Feb. 5, Nutella aficionados worldwide take to social media to celebrate World Nutella Day, composing songs, hosting parties and posting pictures of the sinfully sumptuous hazelnut and chocolate spread on everything from pancakes to pizzas to pastries.
This year’s event was particularly notable, as the “Nutella riots” had surprised the world just 11 days earlier. A French grocery chain slashed Nutella prices by 70%, leading to brawls, injuries, and an “orgy” of shopping madness. The uproar was so extreme that the French government began an investigation to see if consumer laws for discounting merchandise had been broken.
When you’re vegan, fast food is rarely an option. What was once my favorite of the big chains, Wendy’s, has long been a forbidden zone—I can’t be sure the fries aren’t somehow sullied by beef fat or lard. Sure, I think wistfully about the 99-cent crispy chicken nuggets that I ingested almost daily in my car as a teenager, smirking because no one could tell me not to. But those days are deep in the rearview mirror now. I live in Brooklyn. I write nut cheese recipes. I cook my own artisanal tempeh.