I have an immensely important question for you all this lovely Monday morning: How do you pronounce “Nutella?" Because apparently there has been a heated debate raging for quite some time and I had no idea. Seriously, you guys. Not only did I not know there was more than one way to pronounce it, but also — and perhaps more importantly — I did not know that everyone felt so very strongly about the issue. Apparently empires rise and fall depending on how one pronounces the name of the delicious chocolate-hazelnut spread.
According to The Independent's i100 blog, the renewed interest in this longstanding debate was kicked off by Welsh comedian Dan Mitchell on Twitter. On Aug. 19, Mitchell tweeted, “Oh my god, I just heard a man pronounce Nutella New-tella” — bringing attention to the fact that there are two types of people in this world: Those who say “Nuh-tell-ah,” and those who say “New-tell-ah.”
Those two types of people, by the way, are pretty evenly represented within the Bustle editorial team: In an incredibly informal and unscientific survey conducted by yours truly, 50 percent of respondents reported saying “Nuh-tell-ah,” while 44 percent reported saying “New-tell-ah.” The remaining six percent said, “I think I've said it both ways.” Me? I'm pretty firmly Team New-tell-ah, so do with that what you will.
But which is it? Surely there is an official answer, is there not? Well… yes and no. I mean, yes — there is. According to Ferrero Rocher's Nutella USA site, it's pronounced “New-tell-ah”:
It's also worth considering the fact that Nutella is Italian in origin, which would make the “u” an “oo” sound, rather than an “uh” sound (think “Gucci”). Plus, according to the Pronunciation Book YouTube channel — which, by the way, you definitely need to follow if you don't already — we've got another vote for Team New-tell-ah:
But then there's also this: Patrick Smith of BuzzFeed UK got in touch with Ferrero Rocher through the company's global site. He received the following response: “Ferrero aren't trying to encourage a common worldwide pronunciation on this. In the UK we call it and pronounce it 'Nutella' as do consumers. The U.S. pronunciation is just for them.” While that sounds nicely egalitarian, I can't help but feel that the comment about the U.S. pronunciation is somewhat barbed — and, furthermore, not entirely accurate, as it seems that plenty of American consumers pronounce it “Nuh-tell-ah.”
So the jury still appears to be out on this one for now. I've reached out to Ferrero Rocher's U.S. base for comment; I had received no response by press time, but I'll be sure to update you all on this incredibly important matter if and when I hear back from the company.
In the meantime, though, perhaps Bustle's own Emma Lord put it best: When I first posed the question to the team, she initially replied, “I think it's a great equalizer that when you have enough stuffed in your mouth, you can't say it any way at all.”
Images: Getty Images; Nutella USA