Panettone - Gourmet Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Panettone is a traditional northern Italian sweet yeast bread made with candied fruit that is popular in Italy and abroad during Christmas and New Year's holidays. It is popular both as a gourmet gift or for personal consumption. The word Panettone is derived from the Italian word “panetto” meaning a small loaf of bread. The suffix “-one” is added to panetto which changes the meaning to a large loaf of bread. Americans often have trouble spelling the name of this typical Italian Christmas gift that is often compared to a fruitcake. Common misspellings include panetone (with one T) and pannetone (with two Ns and one T).

As with many ancient foods, Panettone carries with it folklore and more than one legend as to its origin often linking tales of romance as inspiration for its creation. While ancient Romans made leavened bread with honey, Panettone found more broad appeal in Milan, Italy in the 15th century. It wasn't until the early 1900s that Panettone became a popular Christmas bread throughout all of Italy. This was due to increased production of the bread and competition between two rival Milanese bakers, Angelo Motta and Gioacchino Alemagna. Motta was credited with creating the distinctive tall dome shape of the bread that replaced the old traditional flatter appearance. Both the Motta and Alemagna brands were purchased by Nestle in the 1990s and since have been purchased by the Italian bakery business Bauli.

Panettone has a distinctive tall cupola, or dome shape and has a light fluffy texture which is created by a time consuming process of curing its dough. It has a sweet, buttery texture and traditionally contains candied fruit such as orange and citron, raisins and lemon zest. Panettones are available in many varieties and may be stuffed with additives such as limoncello or chocolate chips. Panettone is typically served with hot beverages or a sweet wine such as Moscato d'Asti. Panettone is delicious for breakfast when toasted and smeared with butter or mascarpone cheese or when used in French toast. While Panettone currently is not name protected, there is an attempt to obtain Protected Designation of Origins (PDO) status for Panettone which would regulate methods, recipes and locations of the production of Panettone.

Our authentic Italian Panettone is produced by a traditional, well respected Italian family-owned bakery. The cake dough for their Panettones is given 3 days to rise and their raisins are drenched in Marsala and Zibibbo, traditional Sicilian wines. Don’t miss this authentic Italian creation, packed in luxurious gift wrapping. Order your Italian Panettone online at To find the best gourmet foods and gift baskets online, begin your search at