As almost everyone knows, many Italians have a Panettone as one of their holiday treats. Panettone has become almost common place even in America. Gristedes, Stop and Shop and others are now having Panettone made for them under a private label.
While no one is 100% certain, it appears that Panettone hails from Milan. It appeared in Northern Italy around the 15th century. Panettone has a dome-shaped and its interior is usually filled with candied fruit, raisins, or with chocolate or flavored cream, chocolate chips or pastry cream and even liqueurs. The exterior either can be plain or covered with confectioners’ sugar.
Pandoro on the other hand actually comes from Verona and is usually plain inside with confectioners’ sugar on the outside. People tend to like one or the other and it is rare to find both at the same table, although not unheard of certainly.
Both can be eaten together with Mascarpone cream for a few added calories. These delicious desserts are also fabulous for breakfast after they are toasted. You can actually also make great french toast with them.
A number of firms sell Panettone in the United States, including Bauli, Motta and Perugina. There are unfortunately many imitation Panettone around as well. When buying one, check the label and see if it says it is made in Italy. Many South American companies have begun creating Panettone. The product itself may be delicious but it is not made according to Italian standards.
These wonderful treats can be enjoyed by themselves or with a sparkling wine. We paired the Panettone with a great sparkling wine made from Ribolla Gialla from Azienda Agricola Colutta last night at Alta Cucina’s Italian festive wines party.