Panettone – An Anticipated Holiday Tradition in Italy

  Panettone is an anticipated holiday tradition that places it at the center of Christmas celebrations. It is also one of the most involved and difficult Italian cakes. Derived from  panetto, the size of a small loaf, it later rose to dome-like proportions as panettone "big bread”. A native Italian panettone is made over several days …

Panettone, Paneforte and Prosecco

Buon Natale! Christmas is almost here and in Italy that means a delightful selection of unique sweets. In Northern Italy every holiday season Italians line up at the local pasticerria to buy panettone, the traditional Milanese cake-like bread so loved by Italians that they are willing to stand in line when they see the tall …

The Unlikely Occurrences of February 3rd

In Italy the beginning of February has nothing to do with groundhogs and shadows but rather with a cake-like bread, the blessing of throats and celebrating woolen blankets. These disparate, seemly unlike, items and events do have a common denominator in Italy and his name is San Biago. San Biago or St. Blaise, like St. Nicholas, was one of those saints who accumulated …

A French Bump in the Culinary Road to Italy

Beignet means bump in French and although torta della Nonna, Tuscan panforte and Milanese panettone are at the top of my la dolce vita list, you can’t think about Italian pastries without a French twist. Like  the Italian ciambella , a fried dough pastry similar to a French beignet (with a hole in it). The pasticceria of Italy were built on a …