I grew up eating Panettone, every Christmas, at my Sicilian grandparents place it was traditional fare to cut slices, for afternoon tea, of this gigantic aromatic Christmas cake filled with sultanas, dried lemon and orange zest.
Every year that Panettone deceived me with it’s light and fluffy appearance, I’d bite into it’s tall and slender form expecting heaven and be totally grossed out by those candied fruits and stale taste, I hated that blasted Panettone as it deluded me every time.
Consuming this winter treat in the middle of the Southern hemisphere’s summer didn’t help. Christmas dessert in Australia is more appropriately served cold, an ice cream or fruit salad would have been more enjoyable.
It has been seven years since I’ve been home for Christmas and three years have passed from my last visit to Perth, Western Australia and so it has been a solid wintertime festive season for me for a while. I’ve been able to revisit the Panettone and consume it in the correct meteorological context and discover the Panettone’s close relative the Pandoro (which doesn’t have the candied fruit) and I can honestly say I relish it.
There are endless versions of the Pandoro to cater to anyones personal taste from custard filled, chocolate chip, Tiramisu’ coffee cream, Lemoncello liquor, ice cream centered, you and even take a plain Pandora and fill it with what you please.
I have learned to appreciate this benchmark of Italian festive cuisine as it really is quite versatile, like many other classic dessert take it and make it your own.