Whenever I’m on the continent, Nutella – along with its cheaper, less famous, but nonetheless basically identical spin-offs – forms a substantial part of my diet. I sometimes get through a whole jar in a day.
You can buy Nutella just as easily in the UK, of course. But, for some reason, I never have. For me it’s something you’re only allowed to eat when south of Scilly. This must date back to long-ago family camping trips to France, when Nutella and its brethren were one of our annual summer holiday treats, along with ice creams on the beach, staying up past our bedtime to play cards, and stopping at the chip shop on the way home, because no one was going to want to cook dinner after a 36-hour journey with a carload of fractious children.
In fact, not only is Nutella suddenly allowed when I cross the Channel – it becomes positively obligatory. But I suspect that this personal tradition will fade as I head south, and be replaced by other, equally arbitrary rituals – even if Nutella continues to be just as widely available in every other country of the world, which something tells me it probably will.