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[Photographs: Erin Jackson]

When a jar of Nutella enters my house, I become a slave to it until the moment that it's swiped completely clean. Fortunately, that process only takes a week or so as the presence of Nutella in my kitchen cupboard always manages to convince me that Nutella sandwiches are a perfectly acceptable breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. So, when Sweets editor Carrie asked if I wanted to check out the new Hershey's spreads (chocolate, chocolate hazelnut, and chocolate almond, each $3.49 at Ralph's), I was out the door so fast it's a miracle my shoes matched.

I have mixed feelings about Hershey's chocolate. The bar in the dark brown wrapper tastes like waxy chocolate chips, but I'm all about the Symphony bars. If your tastes skew the same way, you'll be happy to know that the new spreads are creamy and sweet, more like Symphony milk chocolate than the classic formulation.

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From left to right: chocolate spread, hazelnut spread, almond spread.

All three of the new Hershey's spreads are great, but some are even better than others. I appreciated how smooth and sweet the plain chocolate flavor is, but thought it tasted too similar to frosting. Spread in a crêpe with some strawberries, it would be awesome, but alone, it's pretty one-note.

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From left to right: chocolate spread, hazelnut spread, almond spread.

The chocolate hazelnut and chocolate almond flavors are slightly lighter in color and a bit creamier. The addition of nuts gives them more flavor and enough complexity that they're perfect all on their own, eaten directly off a spoon. Or a finger.

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Foreground: Nutella; Background: Hershey's Chocolate Almond spread.

In a side-by-side comparison with a spoonful of Nutella, both spreads were almost equally tasty, but Nutella has a bit more hazelnut flavor. It's also smoother and more glossy. Still, my favorite of the four spreads is the Hershey's chocolate almond. The toasty nuttiness from the almonds gives it a slight edge over all the other spreads, including the Nutella.

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax

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