Panettone, an International Christmas Dessert

Panettone, an International Christmas Dessert!

No matter the country you live in, Christmas is a time of gatherings and festivities celebrated by sharing convivial meals, which most often include some traditional dishes. And everywhere, desserts are inevitably part of the tradition! This includes panettone, a delicately sweet brioche cake that's now eaten all over the world during the holiday season. If you've never heard of this delicious pastry, here's everything you need to know about it!

A Disputed Origin Story

Although we know the panettone probably comes from northern Italy, many legends dispute its origin. The most popular story is one which takes place at the end of the 15th century, according to which, one evening, the dessert destined for the Duke of Milan and his noble guests burned a few minutes before being served. Seeing this disaster, a young apprentice cook named Toni prepared a brioche flavoured with citrus peels and candied fruit. Against all odds, it was a complete success, and the chef decided to keep the recipe and name it pan del Toni (Toni's bread), which over time became panettone. Other stories instead suggest that it was created by another Toni who was in love with the baker's daughter and made the famous cake to win her over. Who knows what the truth is?

A World of Varieties

In its most basic version, panettone is a sweet brioche bread with a characteristic dome shape. Soft and honeycombed, its crumb is filled with candied fruit, raisins and citrus zest. Although it is impossible to determine who invented panettone, it is known that during the 20th century, the recipe was adopted by cooks from all over Italy whom each adapted it to create their own versions, which explains why there are countless variations depending on the region today. Panettone can be sweet or savoury, flavoured with fruits, nuts or honey, and some even with olives, capers or pesto!

The Secret to the Perfect Panettone

With such a wide range of possibilities, it goes without saying that the success of a good panettone does not lie in the choice of ingredients, but in its preparation, which is far from being simple! Indeed, traditionally, this Italian brioche requires two leavening periods that can take up to three days. Classic recipes also use homemade sourdough, which itself requires several days of fermentation. But don't worry, there are plenty of recipes that use dry yeast instead for a significantly reduced preparation time. Check out our panettone recipe right here!

How to Eat It

Reheated or grilled, served with jam , cut into thin slices or thicker quarters... there are a thousand ways to enjoy panettone. You just need to find the one you like best! Dice it up to eat in chocolate fondue, make croutons for terrines and foie gras, or bake it as French toast for a delicious breakfast!

During the holiday season, our shelves are filled with dozens of panettoni that come in a variety of shapes and flavours. Visit your local Adonis and let yourself be tempted!