Also called hazelnut praline, a smooth nut paste made of roasted and finely ground hazelnuts and chocolate and sugar, conched together. It can also be made of almonds. Gianduja was invented in the 19th century Turin, in the Piedmont region of Italy (not surprisingly, the Piedmont is the major hazelnut-producing area of Italy). History says that because of the Napoleonic blockade, chocolatiers were unable to obtain enough cacao from South America. What was available was extremely expensive. So they started to incorporate bits of roasted hazelnuts to make the chocolate more affordable. The first gianduioto, later called gianduja, was produced in 1865. Gianduja was originally made with cocoa powder although today, milk and dark chocolate are used.
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