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Thread: Christmas cakes from around Italy

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    3 out of 3 members found this post helpful.

    Christmas cakes from around Italy



    A lot of people know about panettone, which is very available here in the U.S. (the versions sent to foreign countries are from "altered" recipes, imo. They're way, way too sweet. I may have to make my own, as my mother did. In those days, she baked them in old coffee cans. She must have given away dozens.)

    "In Milan it’s all about the panettone, literally 'pan de toni' or Toni’s bread. Legend has it that Toni was the kitchen hand at the court of Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan. He burnt the cakes for dinner so threw together a type of medieval spiced bread and presented it at court. The court loved it and the panettone was born.

    There are others, however: Panettone basso from Torino, Panone from Bologna, Pandolce Genovese etc.

    "In Liguria there’s the pandolce genovese, a fruit bread that can be made tall and airy or flat and crumbly. Bice Comparato, 93, from Albenga on the Gulf of Genoa, recalls how “we used to collect grapes from the vegetable garden and dry them, and my mother would use these in the pandolce. We’d also collect figs that we’d dry out on netting and conserve them in fresh fig leaves that we’d sew up. At Christmas you’d open them and inside there was the dried fig.”The pine nuts that feature in Genovese pesto also feature in its Christmas cake. “The pine nut is the pine nut. It turns up everywhere,” Bice’s daughter, Brunella Parodi, tells me. "

    There's also panforte of Siena, not my personal favorite.

    Then there are the biscuits: ricciarelli from Toscana, and many from Puglia:

    "In Puglia, the emphasis is on the biscuits. Giuseppina Maiorano, 85, from Lizzano in the province of Taranto, tells me they’d start making them after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.

    “There were almond biscuits, ones with wine, and ones with oil and pepper are delicious. And we’d make pettole, fried pieces of dough with honey, and purcidduzzi, little balls of dough that were fried and then dipped in honey. We’d start eating at lunchtime on Christmas Eve – usually pasta with baccalà – and carry on until about ten in the evening."

    It wouldn't be complete without strufoli. They sell them everywhere here. Too sweet for me, but they remind my husband of Christmas so I usually buy one.

    Panettone:


    Panone of Bologna:


    What's in a name, right? It's fruitcake. :)

    Pandolce di Genova:

    Alto:


    Basso:


    This is a lot like German stollen, which I LOVE, and buy every Christmas. Sometimes, twice, once for us and once for guests. :)

    Panforte: Siena



    I just LOVE Ricciarelli:


    I always include them in my massive Christmas cookie bake, which starts tomorrow.

    From Puglia:
    Purceddi in vin cotto:




    Also from Puglia not mentioned in the article: crepes filled with sweet ricotta. I don't know if they're served at Christmas, though.


    Bocconotti Calabresi: they're typically filled with jam, but I know someone who fills them with Nutella.



    Strufoli:


    My favorite cookie, anytime, anyplace:


    Kudos to "Italy, the Local" for the idea.
    https://www.thelocal.it/20181206/italy-christmas-cakes-biscuits


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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    My grandmother bakes Italian Christmas cookies. I've seen the last three you posted among them. There's also the pistachio leaf, and the tri-colored layered one, among others that she usually makes. They're always really enjoyable to eat.

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    We call the Strufoli:
    Purceddhruzzi. :)
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    The Panettone .... very popular in Uruguay (also called Pan Dulce), Argentina and southern Brazil.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by italouruguayan View Post
    The Panettone .... very popular in Uruguay (also called Pan Dulce), Argentina and southern Brazil.
    It's popular here too, even among non-Italian descent people.

    I personally like it toasted with a bit of butter smeared on top. Great with a cup of coffee or cappuccino. You can also make French toast with it, or bread pudding or a zuccotto, which I sometimes do and people love it.


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    In Ferrara for Christmas time we use very much the "pampepato" (or "pampapato"), a cake apparently similar to a sacher-torte because of the covering of dark chocolate, with an internal dough still of chocolate, spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, candied fruit, toasted almonds. The origin is uncertain, but it seems to have been cooked since the 16th century, perhaps it is a recipe created for aristocratic tables. The name means - according to a first etymology - "spicy bread". According to another theory it would mean "bread for the Pope and / or for the Papacy", perhaps conceived when the Duchy of Ferrara passed under the dominion of the State of the Church, at the end of the 16th century

    https://www.taccuinistorici.it/ita/n...rrara-IGP.html

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuvanè View Post
    In Ferrara for Christmas time we use very much the "pampepato" (or "pampapato"), a cake apparently similar to a sacher-torte because of the covering of dark chocolate, with an internal dough still of chocolate, spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, candied fruit, toasted almonds. The origin is uncertain, but it seems to have been cooked since the 16th century, perhaps it is a recipe created for aristocratic tables. The name means - according to a first etymology - "spicy bread". According to another theory it would mean "bread for the Pope and / or for the Papacy", perhaps conceived when the Duchy of Ferrara passed under the dominion of the State of the Church, at the end of the 16th century

    https://www.taccuinistorici.it/ita/n...rrara-IGP.html
    Thanks, Stuvane. I wasn't familiar with that one. Looks very rich.

    Every town has its own variety, sometimes even each family.

    This is one from Bologna, I think:


    In the Lunigiana where I was born there are a lot of recipes with chestnut flour and honey as well as candied fruit and nuts, but I don't think they were prepared much in the decades after the war. I think people had had enough of things made with chestnuts. So, growing up, my mother made pandolce genovese and cookies.

    I should try the old ones again. I'm seeing recipes here and there being brought back.

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