|Place of origin||Italy|
|Main ingredients||Milk chocolate, hazelnut, sugar, palm oil, wheat flour|
|76.6 kcal (321 kJ)|
|Cookbook: Ferrero Rocher Media: Ferrero Rocher|
The Ferrero Rocher, introduced in 1982, was one of the "newest" chocolates that managed to plant its roots deep into the global confectionery market, especially in China. Michele Ferrero, the credited inventor, named the chocolate after a grotto in the Roman Catholic shrine of Lourdes, which reflects his devout faith. Rocher comes from the French and means 'rock' or 'boulder', which is precisely what a grotto is. The chocolate itself, consists of a whole roasted hazelnut encased in a thin wafer shell filled with hazelnut chocolate and covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts.
The sweet is produced by machinery; one machine company that Ferrero uses is Loynds. The process begins with flat sheets of wafer with semi circles moving down an assembly line. The semi circles of the wafers are then filled with Nutella and a whole hazelnut. Next, two of these wafer sheets, one with a hazelnut and one with only Nutella, are clamped together. The excess wafer is cut away and the result reveals small, spherical, wafer balls. These balls are then coated with a layer of chocolate, a layer of chopped hazelnuts, and a final layer of chocolate. Finally, the chocolate is packaged in a gold-foil wrapper which sits in a ruffled, brown paper cup.
The confection is made of: milk chocolate sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, skim milk powder, butteroil, lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin (artificial flavor), hazelnuts, palm oil, wheat flour, whey (milk), lowfat cocoa powder, sodium bicarbonate (leavening agent), and salt. The recipe is the same where ever the chocolate is produced in order to maintain consistency in quality and flavor.
Roughly 3.6 billion Ferrero Rochers are sold each year in over 40 countries. These include 28 countries in Europe, 9 countries in the Americas, 9 countries in Asia, 2 countries in the Oceania region, and 2 countries in Africa. The Rocher is available in nearly any supermarket or department store and is almost always located slightly above eye level. Ferrero Rocher is traditionally associated with Christmas and New Year and some countries hold a policy where the sweet is sold only during the winter.
Cultural impact in China
Before the 1980s, China has not been exposed to chocolate because the country shut its doors to foreign business, resulting in a decline in the economy. To increase the economy, China began letting foreign businesses in, especially the Big Five chocolate companies (Cadbury, Hershey's, Nestlé, Mars, and Ferrero SpA). Ferrero Spa managed to make the biggest impression on China's first generation of chocolate consumers in the mid 1980s with the launch of the Ferrero Rocher. The Chinese chocolate consumers preferred the Ferrero Rocher over many of the other foreign chocolates. To the Chinese, the gold wrapper and delicate packaging appeared luxurious and exotic, giving the chocolate some meaning which is highly important to the Chinese. In addition, the Chinese associated the gold wrapper with good fortune and wealth.
Cultural impact of U.K. advertising campaign
In the United Kingdom in the 1990s, an advertisement series was based upon a party in a European ambassador's official residence and it has been repeatedly parodied in popular culture since. The opening voice-over (by UK actor Jonathan Kydd) explains, "The Ambassador's receptions are noted in society for their host's exquisite taste that captivates his guests". 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.
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- Wood, Zoe (17 November 2009). "Family behind Ferrero Rocher linked to deal with Cadbury". The Guardian. London.
- Crowther, John (23 April 2011). "You're spoiling us, Mr Ambassador! That laughable Ferrero Rocher advert wasn't a joke at all - it was the Italians' idea of style and class". Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
- Cook, William (14 February 2000). "Eurochoc". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
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