The humble Panettone

The humble Panettone

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.

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8 thoughts on “The humble Panettone

    1. Yes, for me it has been a slowly developing love affair now it hardly seems Christmas without a slice. I’m still not mad keen but a few years ago I made Jamie Oliver’s Panettone pudding, it was a hit with the Sicilians and so it’s been requested every year since! Buone feste to you ..

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  1. My first experience with panettone was Christmas 1972. I had just arrived by ship from Australia to Genova and Christmas was in full swing…my first ever cold Christmas. The shops were beautifully decorated and there were panettone displayed everywhere. They looked so festive and delicious and I couldn’t wait to try it. I was bitterly disappointed. I thought it was very ordinary indeed. However, I have grown to love it over the years along with chestnuts which I disliked on my first tasting.

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    1. Yes, even for me it was an acquired taste, I think it needs the cold to taste better. What a wonderful Panettone related memory you have shared, thank for that. I grew up eating Chestnuts so I have always loved them. I remember I had a friend back in primary school in Australia who had never eaten olives, I was terribly shocked, it never occurred to me that not everyone grew up eating salami and olives as snacks … it was a significant moment of ‘cultural revelation.’

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      1. I shall be having Panettone this year as I’m spending it with my Italian relatives who are having an Italian Christmas (no turkey and no Christmas Pudd). My memories of childhood festive food is the Christmas pudding (made the year before by my mother) fried for breakfast in butter (delicious). I’ve never had this outside of Ireland.

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