Did you know… Ferrero Rocher chocolates were inspired by Lourdes?
Inside the golden wrapper of a Ferrero Rocher chocolate there is a multilayered sweet that looks a bit like a rock: a toasted hazelnut placed in a wafer shell filled with hazelnut cream, with a chocolate coating with pieces of hazelnuts.
Few people know that these chocolates were inspired by the Virgin Mary! They are even named after the site of the apparitions of Lourdes.
It is thought that when the chocolatier Michele Ferrero put them on the market in 1982 he named them from the cave, called Rocher de Massabielle, which marks the place where the Blessed Virgin appeared to St Bernadette in Lourdes (France).
The chocolate shape in fact resembles the rock formation of Lourdes, a place that had a special meaning for Ferrero, A devout Catholic, Ferrero was known for his lifelong devotion to the Madonna until his death on 14 February 2015 at the age of 89. It is said that Ferrero went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes every year, taking with him his top manager. He also organized a visit to the shrine for his employees, and had a statue of the Virgin Mary placed in each of the company’s 14 production facilities scattered around the world.
When he celebrated the 50th anniversary of the foundation of his company, Ferrero said: “We owe the success of Ferrero to Our Lady of Lourdes; we can do little without her “. As the third largest chocolate producer in the world, Ferrero had a lot to be grateful for. His chocolates, together with Nutella, the Kinder series and Tic Tac, produced a turnover of over 10 billion euros in 2016.