From tradition to transgression: the artisan panettone adapts to all palates to become the sweet star of Christmas

We had the nougat, we closed Christmas with the roscón de Reyes and for a few years an Italian sweet has crept onto our tables to delight those with a sweet tooth. The panettone has already become one more member of the shelves of our supermarkets when the Christmas holidays approach. But it also occupies a privileged place among the star products of gourmet bakeries throughout the country, with traditional recipes and transgressive proposals that adapt to all palates to become the sweet star of these dates and to delight the sweet tooth.

About the origin of this tasty proposal, ideal to accompany it with a coffee at breakfast or with desserts, there are several legends. One adds a romantic twist to the story, noting that it is the creation of a young aristocrat who fell in love with the daughter of a pastry chef in Milan. To show his love, he pretended to be an apprentice pastry chef and invented a dome-shaped sugary bread, based on candied fruits and the scent of lemon and orange, which was known in the city as “Toni bread.” Another, also located at the end of the 15th century, attributes the creation to a member of the court service of Ludovico the Moor, who was unexpectedly served at a great dinner, after the intended dessert was burned and a young dishwasher offered his creation. to the cook.

Whatever its origin, the truth is that more and more Spaniards include this brioche dough bun filled with raisins and candied fruits on their Christmas shopping list. And in some places there is a real fever to take a panettone home, as in Panem. The renowned Madrid bakery, which this 2021 has won the award for the best croissant in Spain and was among the finalists for the best roscón in the Community, puts on sale a hundred panettones in its most traditional version every Tuesday, and the furor is such that by noon they have already run out of stocks.

Another of the most requested proposals in the capital is that of Panod, where it is made with a naturally grown sourdough, also in its classic or chocolate version, which allows consumption for 20 days, if we can resist. At La Duquesita, with the endorsement of a name like Oriol Balaguer, they propose to their clients three proposals that range from traditional fruit or chocolate fillings, to an innovative and delicious gianduja filling with chestnuts.

The creations of the renowned chef from Tarragona, winner of the II Edition of the Best Artisan Panettone Contest in Spain, They are also available on the website that bears their name, from which they ship to all of Spain. And in the sophisticated patisseries that bear his name in Madrid and Barcelona.

Precisely in Barcelona we find the winner of the latest edition of the Spanish phase of the ‘Panettone World Championship’, Daniel Jordá and his Panes Creativos team. Made with sourdough, without additives or glazeIt is flatter than the ones we are used to seeing and among the requirements of the contest was that the applicants follow the traditional recipe of artisan production with natural fermentation. But it also has in its menu a panettone with Grand Cru chocolate with an intense flavor that we can buy online within the peninsular territory.

In Cangas de Narcea, Asturias, there is a bakery where panettones have their own name, «Maninttone». Every week in Manin, which is the name of the business that Alán García runs, almost 400 sweet breads with chocolate are made, and they are only sold during the months of November and December. Because If something distinguishes these desserts, it is the time it takes to prepare them, between three and five days., something that in many cases restricts the availability of this product in the bakeries.

In Vitoria, among the most requested panettones are those from Artepan. Made from the panettone sourdough recipe of the Italian master baker Piergiorgio Giorilli, which has more than 40 years of history, offers its customers two fluffy and tender varieties: the chocolate one and the orange and raisin variety. Although on special occasions they also sell limited editions, like the one they put on sale in March with three chocolates. All of them can be purchased online.

A little further north, in San Sebastián, one of the essential references when talking about this Italian sweet is The Loaf. With six points of sale in the city, this business that has completed a decade this year is one of the few who cares about offering a vegan version of panettone or, as they call it, the Txokotone, because it comes with a chocolate coating. It is also available to its customers, physical or online, in its traditional version, made with butter, or its product of the year 2020, the pistacchio txokotone, filled with pistachio praline and covered in white chocolate.

Speaking of green and transgressive varieties, we returned to Barcelona to mention Takashi Ochiai’s panettone. A pastry shop that brings together the best of the French culinary tradition and Japanese pastries and in which we can find a matcha green tea, lemon and ginger panettone that will delight the most daring. But classic flavors also have a place in this place that since 1983 has not stopped growing and collecting awards, such as the traditional fruit panettone, chocolate or gianduja. Unfortunately for us, or fortunately for our diet, they don’t have an online store.

We are not going to compensate ourselves, but we do not want to end without mentioning one of the most successful online stores when it comes to selling panettones over the internet, that of Raúl Asencio patisseries. Belonging to the seventh generation of a saga of Alicante confectioners that dates back to the end of the 18th century, among their specialties are panettones made with naturally grown sourdough. And we can find up to eight varieties, ranging from hazelnut cream filling and white chocolate coating to a special edition made with oil, chocolate and salt. Covered with mini oreos and filled with milk chocolate and hazelnut, with toffee, with cocoa, with nougat or with raisins and orange peel, this diversity is a good example that the fever for panettone in our country is not temporary.

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