April 24, 2023
In Season 2 of Never Have I Ever, Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) has invited the new and only other Indian girl at school, Aneesa Qureshi (Megan Suri), to her house and is dreading her arrival. Narrator John McEnroe articulates a competitive Devi’s thoughts: “Maybe Devi was overreacting. It’s not like Aneesa was actually perfect.” Moments later, the doorbell rings. Devi’s mother, Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan), opens the door to find Aneesa standing, bearing gifts.
Devi’s face drops. “Ferrero Rocher pyramid, how elegant!” Nalini says earnestly, her mouth wide from amazement. The narrator exclaims, “For Indian people, that’s the Rolex of confection gift boxes!”
In 2020, when we asked our readers what things felt South Asian but aren’t, responses included Bata sandals, Vick’s, and, of course, Ferrero Rocher. Today, the chocolate continues to be many things: an Eid or Diwali gift, a status symbol, a comfort treat. Part of what made Ferrero Rocher so successful among South Asians was that it exuded luxury but was attainable for new immigrants. That connotation, however, is slowly but surely changing.