Skinny Pancake honors Nutella Day 2/5/2011

Skinny Pancake patio Burlington, VTThe 5th Annual World Nutella Day is Saturday, February 5, 2011, and there is no better place to celebrate it in Burlington, Vermont than at the Skinny Pancake.

If you believe I’m joshing, let me assure you, the Skinny Pancake is no joke. Oh, you may have thought so six or seven years ago when the father-son team of Ben and John Adler put their cart out on Church Street’s famous pedestrian brick walkway. Discerning patrons, eschewing pretzels and corn dogs, accounted for the mercurial rise in cravings for this French importation:  la crêpe.

As sure as slush follows snow in this part of the woods, the love affair grew and the Adlers took the next logical step. An intriguing new building had just been built on the water side of The Battery, Burlington’s artery overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.That is where the Skinny Pancake hung their placard over the door at the corner of College and Lake Streets. That is where you can sit on the patio and savor crêpes with a complimentary view.

Skinny Pancake's Church Street Cart

© Skinny Pancake on Church Street

As time advanced, the Adlers saw the need for a more professional approach and hired a young man well-steeped in the restaurant business. Chris Benjamin had graduated from NECI, the New England Culinary Institute, and had gone on to pursue his career as a chef and restaurateur, most recently at the Inn in Essex, run by and for NECI as a training ground. NECI pulled out, and Chris accepted the manager’s job with the Skinny Pancake.

Now, the menu is varied and creative using primarily produce, dairy and meat products from local Vermont farms.

World Nutella Day 2010 logoNo one needs an excuse for Nutella! Like chocolate? Like hazelnuts? There you go! You’ll love Nutella. A sweet, spreadable confection, it feels right at home in Junior’s lunch box, or as happens here, encased in the lightest folds of a fresh warm crêpe.

Nutello was born of consequence:

The Italian chocolatier, Pietro Ferrero whipped up this confection in the 1940s when chocolate supplies were crimped because of WWII. Hazelnuts were plentiful in the Piedmont. He combined the two and added some secret ingredients to make it stable. Thus he created a treat that won the hearts of Europeans who have had the privilege of enjoying it for many years.

Poached pear encircled by Nutella

© Sara Rosso

American tourists, especially those with children, picked up on this new sensation and many carried a few jars home in their luggage, only to have sons and daughters become distraught when the supply ran out.

Although it was available in the U.S., the outlets were spotty. It could be found in Italian specialty shops and some of the more exclusive purveyors in the larger cities. No more! Why even Costco caries it now!

Many compare it to peanut butter. One major advantage it has over peanut butter is your parent can’t tell if you swiped your finger through the jar: it isn’t quite that stiff and the smell doesn’t linger to betray you.

Google Map of College and Lake

The Skinny Pancake’s Menu Pages

Nutella Company home page; History, etc.

One of Gail’s other Burlington posts

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