I’v already discussed the panettone with you before, but because it’s almost Christmas and the panettone is a traditional Christmas pastry in Italy, especially in the North, I would like to share a Christmas story evolving around this super famous tasty treat.

In all fairness, there are various tales told about the origin of the panettone. The following two are ones that I either heard about in Italy or read about.

Let’s start with a well-known story about its origin.
It’s said that panettone is derived from “Pan de Toni” (Toni’s bread). Toni was apparently a scullion in the service of one of the gentlemen in Milan and after accidently burning the delicious sweets prepared for his Master’s Christmas feast, he had to come up with something else entirely. With leftover yeast, flour, eggs, sugar, raisins and candied fruit he managed to create the panettone that is now so popular in Italy (and safe himself from his master’s wrath at the same time).

A completely other story evolves around a bakery help who got fired right before Christmas and was only left with scraps from the bakery that nobody wanted to use anymore. Being unable to buy his children gifts, but not wanting to disappoint them at the same time, this help started to bake, with the scraps from his former employer, a delicious bread that he could give to his children on Christmas Day. Apparently this bread was such a success amongst his family members that he decided to sell more and eventually earn a decent living by preparing and selling panettone.

Very likely neither story is true. Nonetheless, the Christmas Spirit is apparent in both.

Happy Holidays and you’ll hear from me again after the festivities.

From Italy with love,

Merel