What is Gianduja?

What is Gianduja

There are two different meanings to the word “gianduja” in Italy. Depending on who you ask, your answer will be “a traditional Carnival mask” or “a delicious, satin paste made of chocolate and hazelnuts.”


Table of Contents

So, What Exactly is Gianduja?

Gianduja originated in Turin, Italy in 1806 by confectioners who were brainstorming ways to reduce the cocoa content in chocolates without reducing the flavor. This was initiated because of the rise in cocoa prices caused by a scarcity of the product after Napoleon Bonaparte banned it from being imported from the United Kingdom. The confectioners had the ingenious idea to mix the little cocoa powder they had with the paste accumulated from grinding hazelnuts. The result of mixing the two together was a velvety satin paste that stole the hearts of locals.


Loved Around the World

Today gianduja chocolates and confections are available around the world in different sizes and flavors and prepared in different methods. This Italian-originated paste is made by large companies – such as the Lindt & Sprüngli group – and small cafes and shop owners around the world.




Did you know that the chocolate hazelnut paste made in 1806 is most famous now as a chocolate spread that has become a global phenomenon – Nutella.

Nutella is an official brand name for gianduja, made by the company Ferrero. It was originally called “Pasta Gianduja,” rebranded to “Supercrema,” and finally rebranded as “Nutella.” It’s important to keep in mind that gianduja is merely a paste made of chocolate and at least 30% hazelnut paste. Popular brands and confectionaries may use gianduja to enhance their products – but it’s not pure gianduja. For example, Nutella contains gianduja accompanied by sugar, palm oil, milk powder, and synthetic vanillin, making gianduja just a component.


Gianduja-Infused Products

Here is a list of products besides Nutella that has gianduja in them!

Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata Organic Spread

Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata Organic Spread

If you want a chocolate hazelnut spread that is slightly healthier – more organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free – this is the product for you! It comes in three different versions: cocoa & milk, dairy-free, and vanilla.


Kinder Bueno Chocolate Bar

Kinder Bueno Chocolate Bar

If you’ve never tried a Kinder Bueno candy bar before, you’re missing out! Beneath a layer of silky milk chocolate lies a crispy wafer filled with whipped hazelnut cream.


Amedei Gianduja Chocolate Bar

Amedei Gianduja Chocolate Bar

This bar is a Toscano original bar made of extra pure cocoa, hazelnuts, and sugar.


Cacao Nocciole Hazelnut Spread

Cacao Nocciole Hazelnut Spread

This is a spread that is similar to Nutella – but the company boasts of acquiring its hazelnuts from Alta Langa, Piedmont (the place of origin for gianduja). It contains just three ingredients: hazelnuts, cacao, and cane sugar. This is a must-have if you want to experience a true hazelnut spread from Italy!


Where to Buy Pure Gianduja

  • You can search on Amazon for “gianduja chocolate,” where you’ll find a wide variety to choose from.
  • You can visit a local chocolate shop that has perfected the art of incorporating this velvety paste into their goods.
  • Or you can visit authentic Italian chocolatier websites.


Easy Gianduja Recipe

If you wanted to try your hand at making gianduja yourself instead of buying it, we don’t blame you! It’s one thing to eat chocolate that you buy, and it’s another to eat chocolate made from your own hands! Here is our favorite gianduja recipe from MarthaStewart.com.


Gianduja is Rich and Creamy Goodness

Through gianduja’s rich history, it’s evident why this paste is so famous around the world. Hailing from Italy, this mix has become a staple ingredient for bakers and companies around the world to create delicious, mouth-watering confections and pastries.



Is There Gianduja Ice Cream?

Yes, there is Gianduja ice cream. It is a delightful frozen treat made with a combination of chocolate and hazelnut flavors. You can often find this ice cream flavor in specialty gelato shops or even available for purchase in grocery stores. It’s characterized by its creamy texture and rich, nutty taste.


How to Pronounce Gianduja

Gianduja is an Italian word and can be tricky to pronounce correctly. To say it accurately, break it down into syllables: “Gee-ahn-DOO-yuh.” The “G” is soft like in “giant,” and the “u” sounds like “oo” in “boot.”


Gianduja vs. Nutella – What Are the Differences?

Gianduja Nutella
Traditional Italian chocolate-hazelnut spread Popular chocolate-hazelnut spread
Made with a higher percentage of hazelnuts Contains fewer hazelnuts and more sugar and oil
Less sweet and has a more intense hazelnut flavor Sweeter taste with a less pronounced hazelnut flavor
Used in various desserts, chocolate bars, and pastries More commonly used as a spread on bread, crepes, or waffles
Found at specialty stores and high-quality chocolate shops Widely available in grocery stores

What Is a Gianduja Crostata?

A Gianduja Crostata is an Italian dessert that features a base of buttery shortcrust pastry and a filling made with Gianduja chocolate. The combination of the crisp, flaky crust and the rich, creamy chocolate hazelnut filling creates a delicious and indulgent experience. You can find this dessert in various Italian bakeries or try making it at home using a Gianduja chocolate spread or Gianduja-flavored chocolate chips.


What Is Gianduja Budino?

Gianduja Budino is a luxurious Italian dessert consisting of a smooth and creamy chocolate hazelnut pudding. Made with a combination of milk, cream, sugar, cocoa powder, hazelnuts, and chocolate, this rich dessert is typically served chilled and garnished with whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts. It’s a decadent treat that showcases the delicious flavors of Gianduja chocolate.


You Might Also Like:

Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.