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Ferrero Rocher, with the central hazelnut clear in the cross-section
Ferrero Rocher is a spherical chocolate sweet made by Italian chocolatier Ferrero SpA. Introduced in 1982, the chocolates consist of a whole roasted hazelnut encased in a thin wafer shell filled with hazelnut cream including vegetable oil and covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. The sweets each contain 73 calories and are individually packaged inside a gold-coloured wrapper. Rocher comes from French and means "rock", after a grotto in the Roman Catholic shrine of Lourdes, reflecting Michele Ferrero's devout faith. It could also be named after Michele Ferrero's mother, Piera Rocher. Ferrero SpA is also known for its Nutella, Kinder Surprise and Tic Tac products.
In most English-speaking countries, Ferrero has concentrated on advertising the Rocher chocolate that allowed an associated recognition of that company brand name with the other types of Ferrero chocolate. In the United Kingdom in the 1990s, an advertisement series based upon a party in a European ambassador's official residence has been repeatedly parodied in popular culture. The opening voice-over (voiced by UK actor Jonathan Kydd) which goes, "The Ambassador's receptions are noted in society for their host's exquisite taste that captivates his guests", together with the on-screen comments of guests such as "Eccellente" and "Ambassador, with these Rocher, you're really spoiling us", remain widely recognised and quoted in the United Kingdom. The concept of a butler wandering between party guests holding a silver tray with a pyramid of Ferrero Rocher has become a trope and a popular stereotype of diplomacy in general. There has been discussion about the socio-economic targeting of the advertisement and the extent to which it may or may not be insulting to the more down-market audience to whom it was presented as an aspirational brand by means of an Italian advertisement dubbed in English, such as in this quotation from the New Statesman:
Within this inner sanctum of the smart set, a distinguished manservant glided silently through the moneyed throng, with a pyramid of golden baubles, perched on a silver salver, offering a huge piled plate of the sweets to the guests at an embassy party.