Regal panettone has long been synonymous with the holidays in Italy, yet the golden-domed breads weren’t on the radar in the U.S. until the past few years. Before that, for most Americans, panettone was often misunderstood as a cousin to shunned holiday fruitcakes.
Originally from Milan — though there are multiple variations across Italy today — panettone is notoriously difficult to make, requiring a combination of a complex starter and laborious dough work; ingredients such as candied fruit along with raisins and vanilla; and enough eggs and butter that, once baked, the sweet breads need to be inverted as they cool so they don’t collapse.
While there’s a traditionally more recognizable panettone for Italians who’ve been enjoying it for decades, bakers like From Roy have put New World versions on the map; Roy’s year-round baking, plus superfan crumb shots across Instagram, have helped fuel an international lust for panettone, combined with a surfeit of great press. This year, the panettone-curious attended a two-day sold-out Panettone Festival in Long Island City. And Italian meccas like Eataly offers not one, not two, but a staggering fifty varieties during the holiday.
In New York, panettone can be found across all five boroughs, from Italian grocers and bakeries on Arthur Avenue to new entrants in Brooklyn and Queens. Locally made or imported from Italy, flavored with the classic orange and raisin, or with Asian inspirations like ube; in the classic “alto” (tall) shape, or even a doughnut, there’s a panettone for everyone.Read More