Move over fruitcake, the Italian Panettone is creeping up each year in sales as a tastier alternative to a Christmas tradition. The brioche bread harks back to the middle ages. It literally means “bread of Toni”. It is also a symbol of liberty with the inclusion of red and green cherries from Italy’s flag. You would figure the biggest exporter of Panettone would be Italy, that honor goes to Brazil.
Its origin goes back to 1495. During the luxurious Christmas banquet given by the Duke of Milan, the desert got burnt. A young cook, called Toni, came up with a rich brioche bread, filled with raisins and candied fruit. The Duke loved it, and so the tradition of ‘Pane di Toni’ was born.
Later, in 1821, Panettone became a symbol of liberty in Italy. Red candied cherries and green-colored citrus replaced the raisins and fruit, creating the red, white and green Italian flag. A Christmas bread with an exceptional story, and – when made right – equally exceptional taste.
Bauducco, which makes versions available on Amazon and supermarkets around the United States, is the largest producer of baked goods in Brazil and the largest panettone maker in the world, exporting to more than 80 countries.