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Nutella’s new campaign gets marquesitas wrong, annoying watchful Yucatecos

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Press image used to promote Nutella’s special edition jars celebrating Yucatán. Photo: Courtesy Nutella

As part of a special summer special edition, Nutella is launching eight collectible jars highlighting the way their product is used across Mexico. 

The label representing Yucatán features a photograph of Izamal and its traditional yellow facades.

“The combination of Nutella with cheese in Yucatán’s wonderful marquesitas is fantastic, and we just needed to celebrate it,” said a press statement from the brand. 

But seeing the way the Italian brand has chosen to represent marquesitas, Yucatecos have quickly taken to Facebook and Instagram to correct the company’s error.

“If you are going to try to appeal to us using our own traditions, at least get it right. That is NOT how you put cheese on a marquesita,” said Manuel Canto of Progreso. 

Marquesitas are one of Yucatán’s favorite street foods and can be found sold just about everywhere in city parks and plazas. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Most complaints seem to reflect the fact that in Yucatán cheese goes inside, marquesitas, not sprinkled on top, and Nutella, if added is placed on the top end or inside the crunchy wrap. 

Earlier: Yucatán’s top 8 street junk food favorites

Several commenters on Facebook also noted that Nutella’s press materials do not even mention Edam Cheese, the main ingredient in marquesitas.

Queso de bola is the main ingredient in several traditional Yucatecan dishes and snacks, most famously marquesitas and queso relleno — a dish prepared with a hollowed-out queso de bola and filled with ground beef, pork, spices, and olives. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

This is not the first time that Yucatecans have proven protective of their cuisine, which is tied closely to their cultural identity.

The controversy is reminiscent of the PR debacle by McCormick’s attempt to market its mayonnaise as a perfect addition to cochinita pibil. People in Yucatán were not impressed, to say the least.

“The thing about this sort of campaign is that it feels so corporate. If it was more earnest and they actually took the time to get it right it may be fun. They should have come to Yucatán and had someone who knows what they are doing do it the right way,” said Xiomara Ramírez on Instagram.

Other states also getting special edition jars include Jalisco, Guerrero, and Oaxaca. 

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