Got a good Italian buddy? You might be looking for a suitable gift to wish him a happy holiday season. What could be the best possible way to do that? Somewhere in the past, your Italian friend might have said something like –

  • A slice of panettone and a flute of champagne

Eating panettone after every meal has become a ritual in many Italian homes. Though panettone is also known as Christmas cake, you don’t have to wait for December 25th to buy panettone online or try Italian cake panettone recipe in your own kitchen. You can enjoy this sweet bread anytime and anywhere, be it an office party or you are in a shopping mall. This Italian Christmas cake is the best Christmas, holiday or any special occasion gift your Italian friend will love to receive. Giving panettone is more than an act of kindness. It is a tradition. There is a history behind it.

This traditional cake-like bread is stuffed with candied lemon and orange peel and dried raisins. Panettone originated from Milan. Italian immigrants took panettone, pasta, pizza and other dishes with them to different parts of the world. This is how panettone gained a worldwide fanbase.

There are different ways you can enjoy panettone at a Christmas party. You can pair it with ice cream, hot chocolate or even eggnog. When you buy panettone online, you can have it with chocolate chips and frosting, cream and liqueurs like limoncello. However, the traditional recipe is still favorite.

Not only in Italy, Italian families in France, Spain, Germany, Britain, the United States and Canada also buy panettone online. 7% to 10% of the panettone produced in Italy are exported to these countries. According to the Italian Food Commission, the import of Italian cakes to the United States is growing. This also shows how enthusiastic Americans are about this Italian tradition.

If you visit Italian markets after Thanksgiving, you can find supermarket shelves decorated with plenty of tempting panettone cakes.

A Look Into The Journey Of Italian Cake Panettone 

The name panettone is mentioned in documents from the 1200s. These documents describe panettone cake enriched with raisins, honey, and even pumpkin. Pietro Verri (1728-1797), an Italian writer, economist, philosopher, and historian, called it “pane di tono”. “Pane di tono” means luxury bread. Raisins are a symbol of good wishes. They are known for bringing wealth and fortune.

According to the legends, panettone is an invention of a Milanese nobleman Ughetto degli Atellani. There was a poor baker named Toni. Atellani fell in love with Toni’s daughter, Adalgisa. Atellina, the nobleman, wanted to marry the baker’s daughter. So, he joined that bakery. When the baker started losing business due to the local competition, the nobleman invented a new cake with flour, yeast, eggs, butter, candied peel, and dried raisins. It instantly became a favorite. Ludovico iL Moro Sforza, the duke of Milan, further encouraged the launch of Toni’s bread: pan del Ton.

There is one more story associated with panettone. A young lad Toni was a helper of a cook. He was the first to make the panettone cake. On the day of Christmas, the court chef did not have any dessert to offer. The cake he made was not good enough to serve. So, Toni used everything he had to make a dessert. What he made was named “il pan de Toni”: Toni’s bread.

Angelo Motta, a young Milanese baker, popularized panettone after World War 1. The traditional panettone recipe was revolutionized. This was when it got its tall domed shape.

Now you know the history of panettone. What should you keep in mind when you look for a panettone for sale? 

According to an estimation, Italians produce 80 million pounds of panettone every year. Not all cakes make an excellent Christmas gift. First of all, you must check the ingredients used in the cake. You should buy panettone online from an online Italian food store selling authentic Italian foods and ingredients.