Nicol-Ettone 2011 edition - IMG_2261
Panettone (pronounced \ˌpä-nə-ˈtō-nē, ˌpa-\) is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan (in Milanese it is called "paneton" Milanese dialect (ponunciation IPA: /paneˈtuŋ/)), usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Italy, Brazil, Malta, Germany and Switzerland, and is one of the symbols of the city of Milan. Maltese nationals are also traditionally associated with this sweet loaf. In Latin America, especially in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, it is a Christmas dinner staple and in some places replaces roscón de reyes/bolo rei (King cake).
It has a cupola shape, which extends from a cylindrical base and is usually about 12-15 cm high for a panettone weighing 1 kg. Other bases may be used, such as an octagon, or a frustum with star section shape more common to pandoro. It is made during a long process that involves the curing of the dough, which is acidic, similar to sourdough. The proofing process alone takes several days, giving the cake its distinctive fluffy characteristics. It contains candied orange, citron, and lemon zest, as well as raisins, which are added dry and not soaked. Many other variations are available such as plain or with chocolate . It is served in slices, vertically cut, accompanied with sweet hot beverages or a sweet wine, such as Asti or Moscato d'Asti. In some regions of Italy, it is served with crema di mascarpone, a cream made from mascarpone, eggs, sometimes dried or candied fruits, and typically a sweet liqueur such as amaretto; if mascarpone cheese is unavailable, zabaione is sometimes used as a substitute.
Efforts are underway to obtain Protected Designation of Origin and Denominazione di origine controllata status for this product, but, as of late 2008, this had not occurred. Italian Agriculture Minister Paolo De Castro was looking at ways to protect the real Italian cakes from growing competition in Latin America and whether they can take action at the World Trade Organization.
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