Every year, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of panettone from Pasticceria Perbellini. And, every year, we order as much as we can, filling the shop to the brim! Piled high on our shelves, chock-a-block with torrone and candied fruits, staff members are thrilled to see these delicious Italian breads again. Panettone is fantastic with a steaming cup of hot coffee or a freshly pulled shot of espresso. Gemma, expert wine buyer in our Cambridge shop, recommends panettone with a glass of Vin Santo or the classic pairing of Moscato d’Asti.
What is Panettone?
Panettone is a traditional Milanese holiday bread. Traditional (and we think the best) panettone are yeasted breads that are allowed to ferment for a lengthy period of time. Studded with dried fruits, rich with eggs and occasionally topped with nuts, they are satisfying and flavorful. For cakes and breads, they have a long shelf life. That said, we find they don’t last long once we get one home!
About Pasticceria Perbellini
We import panettone directly from Pasticceria Perbellini, a small, family-run artisan bakery based in Bovolone, Italy. The company makes three different yeast and egg based holiday breads, all of which are baked in paper molds, sealed in a light plastic for freshness and wrapped in traditional, untreated Havana paper. The final touch – they are tied up with string and finished with a grape vine twig handle for easy carrying. The breads are made with an all-natural yeast (they rise for 36-hours!) and carefully hand-selected fruits, nuts, sugars and flours.
A specialty of Pasticceria Perbellini, the Offella d’Oro is made in extremely limited quantities only five months out of the year. In 1891, Giovanni Battista Perbellini modified an ancient Veronese recipe by enriching the dough with butter and topping it with caramelized walnuts. The Offella d’Oro was born and quickly copyrighted. Moist and soft with a fluffy texture inside and a crunchy nut exterior. Serve with mascarpone or crème anglaise and a sweet dessert wine.
The Pandoro is moist, fluffy, and dusted with powdered sugar. It is similar to the Offella d’Oro but its dough is slightly less rich and it is made without nuts. A true classic, this is the most straightforward of the panettone we get from Pasticceria Perbellini. It is delicious all by itself but can also be successfully paired with your favorite cream, coulis, poached fruit or dessert sauce to round out a meal.
Panettone L’Anni 1900
As traditional as it gets, the Panettone l’Anni 1900 is available in two different sizes: 650g or a full kilo. A rich and eggy bread studded with golden sultanas and candied citron. It contains hints of rum and vanilla. Serve after dinner with soft torrone, crunchy roasted nuts, dried fruits and sweet dessert wine. Or, serve it as a special holiday breakfast: thick slices, toasted gently and slathered with mascarpone or lightly-salted butter.