Many is the time I have sat and wondered how I can cram more Nutella into my diet. That glorious blend of hazelnuts and chocolate turns just about everything it touches into something even the most mild mannered will horf down in an animalistic frenzy. Such then is the genius of Pacific Northwest-based fast-food chain Burgerville in finding a way to bring a combination of chocolate and hazelnuts to its menu. And while Burgerville isn't using any actual Nutella here, the spirit of the transcendent spread is alive and well in the delicious Chocolate Hazelnut Milkshake.
Arriving just once a year for a brief period starting in early January, the Chocolate Hazelnut Milkshake takes the regional chain's regular chocolate shake (Sunshine Dairy vanilla ice cream + chocolate syrup) and goes to town with it. Not only is a hazelnut syrup incorporated into the mix, but also ground dry-roasted Oregon-grown hazelnuts. The blend is then topped off with whipped cream and a generous sprinkle of hazelnut flecks.
The addition of the hazelnuts and hazelnut syrup amps up the overall richness of the milkshake, though thankfully not nearly to the ridiculous levels seen in Burgerville's seasonal pumpkin shake. It's thick, yes, but very drinkable—you can also order a thinner "smoothie" version made with frozen yogurt. The flavor bears some inarguable similarities to Nutella without directly aping it; think Nutella diluted with chocolate milk.
A textural note should be pointed out: Tiny shards of ground hazelnut contrast distinctly with the creaminess of the milkshake's base, and your tolerance of this disparity will likely depend on your viewpoint of nuts in desserts. With a few notable exceptions such as pecan pie or butter pecan ice cream, I tend to dislike nuts in my sweet treats, and personally I didn't care for the hazelnut flecks here. Hardly a deal-breaker, though, and they're not so obtrusive that they should prevent you from giving this limited-edition shake a try.
About the author: Adam Lindsley is a Pacific Northwest-based writer, musician, and the author of the pizza blog, This Is Pizza. You can follow him at @ThisIsPizza on Twitter. He is currently searching desperately for a bottle of Upright Brewing's Blend Love, so if you can lend a hand, get in touch!