History and Legends

Legends and history of Italian´s Christmas Cake, Panettone

panettone the legend

What would be a more Italian way to wish a Happy holiday season than a gift of Panettone , a dome-shaped cake that is a rich yet fluffy, stuffed with raisins and candied fruit! From its birth in the fifteenth century, it has become so well-known that the cake is commonly see in Christmas celebrations in almost every country in the world. There are many legends about the origins of Panettone, but one of the most popular tale about how Panettone came to be is actually a love story.

It is said that at the height of the Renaissance era, in the fifteenth century, an aristocrat named Ugo Degli Atellani of Futi were madly in love with a beautiful daughter of a Milanese baker named Adalgisa. At that time, a marriage between a noble boy and a girl from a humble family would be strongly discouraged. Ugo´s family was no exception: they forbade the relationship between Ugo with Adalgisa, so sadly, their love stayed in secret for a long time. When Toni, Adalgisa´s father became very sick, she had to spend longer hours at her father´s bakery and did not have much time to see Ugo. Desperately wanting to meet his beautiful Adalgisa, Ugo put on humble clothes and applied for a job at the bakery as an assistant at Toni´s bakery. He got the job, but another unfortunate event happened: a new bakery shop opened nearby which started taking customers away from Toni´s bakery. Ugo predicted that in order to increase sales, and win back the customers, the quality of the bread needed to be better. He then came up with the ideas of adding eggs, raisins, and candied fruit to the bread with the aroma of lemon and orange which later turned into a huge success. When the first customer bought the cake, its uniqueness and deliciousness advertised on its own that bread of Toni´s bakery was the best in town. Their sales started increasing, and long queues of customers started lining up at their door. The bread is named ¨Pannetone ¨: or it can be interpreted as Il pan de Toni ( bread of Toni). As the bakery becomes really popular with this Christmas cake, Adalgisa´s family gradually becomes rich. Ugo then proposed to Adalgisa, and their wonderful love story continues as the Panettone cake legends...

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