A Christmas tradition: the Italian Panettone

I love Christmas and love to learn about Christmas traditions around the world! Every country has its own Christmas events, markets and obviously Christmas food! So today I want to tell you a little but more about an Italian food specialty served at Christmas… the Panettone.

But what exactly is Panettone?

King of all parties, Panettone is the quintessential Christmas cake and although it originates from Lombardy, in Northern Italy, during the festive period you’ll find it on the tables of every Italian family.

There are many stories about the origins of Panettone but the most plausible tells about Toni, a cook from Milan, that due to a problem with the cake he had prepared for a Christmas lunch with nobles guests, had to bring to the table a cake prepared by one of his waiters the day before with just eggs, flour, butter, raisins and candied peel. The cake had a great success and was acclaimed by the landlord, Ludovico Il Moro, and his guests. Asked what the cake was called, the cook answered in the dialect from Milan, “I pan del Toni” (literally Toni’s bread) and over the years it became… Panettone!

And the same recipe from cook Toni is used today to create a cake that is not too sweet and is somehow similar to a sweet bread. Over the years, cooks and chefs from all over the country have created different versions of this traditional cake, so in addition to the classic one with raisins and candied peel, you can find Panettone with chocolate chips, with Limoncello, with just raisins, with berries, with caramel and more!

This Christmas, bring to the table a selection of traditional festive treats, including single portion Panettone with raisins and Panettone with chocolate chips. Add a glass of bubbles and a delicious mascarpone cream to pour over your Panettone for the perfect Christmas dessert.