One of the most popular traditions in Italy is the panettone, but what is its story? Who invented this cake?
Its story is lost in the fog of time, as befits such a famous dessert.
Legend has it that “Panettone” comes from “Pan de Toni” (“Toni’s bread”). Toni was a simple kitchen boy in Ludovico Sforza’s kitchen, known as “il Moro”. One Christmas Eve he was supposed to supervise the baking of the cake for the ducal banquet, but Toni fell asleep and the cake burned. The Sforza family chef became enraged and Toni, fearful of the possible consequences, decided to use the loaf of sourdough that he had put aside for his Christmas party. He processed it with flour, eggs, sugar, sultanas and candied fruits until it got a soft, strongly leavened dough. The result was so successful that Ludovico il Moro named the cake “Pan de Toni” in honor of the inventor.
The real origin lies in the Middle Ages: In 1470 a tutor of the Sforza family, Giorgio Valagussa, spoke of the “Rito del ciocco” (“custom of the log”). According to this custom, a piece of wood decorated with leaves and apples and soaked in wine and juniper was placed on the fire at Christmas, over which the whole family toasted a piece of wheat bread, which the head of the family cut from three large loaves. after giving a piece to all the guests, a piece was kept for the next year as a token of good fortune and persistence. It was a “special” bread called “Pan de Sciori” or “Pan de Ton”; H. men’s bread, a luxury bread. The Milan guilds had decided that at Christmas everyone, poor or rich, should eat the same bread, which was then enriched with sugar, butter and eggs.
So the next time you hold a nice piece of panettone in your hand, think of the tradition, of Toni, of the log in the fire, in order to enjoy its unique taste even more.
What could be nicer than enjoying a handmade panettone with the aroma of natural ingredients? Try our Panettone!