Tonight out of curiosity I bought my first jar of Nutella. I’m sure I’ve had it before in pastries or some such, but never had my own supply. It was never in the house while I was growing up, and I’m not sure I’d even heard of it before I visited San Francisco and its baffling abundance of crepe restaurants.
So let me see if I’ve got this right: at some point during World War II, some Italian guy decided to put cake frosting in a jar and sell it as something a reasonable person would eat for breakfast. And everybody in Europe said, “What the crap how come we didn’t think of this earlier?” All they had to do was take the picture of a big-ass chocolate cake off the jar, replace it with a picture of a sandwich, call it a “spread,” and then move it a couple of aisles over, next to the peanut butter.
They can even claim it’s part of a “balanced breakfast,” as long as everybody plays it cool and doesn’t ruin it for everyone by pointing out you’re giving kids chocolate cake icing for breakfast. They don’t even have to jump through the marketing hoops that Cookie Crisp had to go through.
My favorite concept from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics, and plenty of games inspired by them, is the idea that gods are actually created and powered by faith. I love the idea that if enough believe in something hard enough, it will actually become reality. And I love the idea that if you say “a hint of cocoa” enough times and talk about breakfast, people all over the world will smile and nod and absolve themselves of any guilt over eating the stuff.