pandoro christmas

Pandoro: the typical Christmas dessert

What do you think about Pandoro for Christmas lunch?

In the last article we dealt with Panettone and its origins. In this one we will talk about Pandoro, a dessert that is a real symbol in Italy during the Christmas time. Soft, star-shaped, with lots of powdered sugar on the surface… a mouth-watering dessert! If Panettone sometimes dosen’t like to everyone, it seems that Pandoro is able to be appreciated by young and old people. Its origins are lost in legend and are different.

Let’s find out more about one of the typical Christmas desserts.

Pandoro: a bit of legend

The origins of the word Pandoro are probably to be found in a cry of amazement. According to the legend a pastry boy was extremely amazed by the gold color of the dough. As I said before, there are many origins, accredited or not, about the birth of Pandoro. The origin of the dessert could even be traced back to the period of Ancient RomeIn fact, on a text by Pliny the Elder we read about the preparation of panis.  The chef Vergilius Stephanus Senex cooked it with flour, butter and oil.

Another reference is that of the “pane de oro” (golden bread), served on Venetian tables during feast days around 1500. You can consider Pandoro also as an evolution of a Hapsburg bread, the Vienna Bread, rich in butter. Another possible ancestor is Nadalin, a star-shaped Venetian dessert, always prepared with butter.

Pandoro: a bit of history

What is certain is that pandoro was born in Verona on 14 October 1884. That day the pastry chef Domenico Melegatti obtained the patent for a Christmas cake. The Levà, a leavened dessert of the ancient Veronese tradition, inspired him. The women of the neighboring villages prepared this dessert, covering it with almonds and sugar. Melegatti used the same recipe, adding eggs and butter. He eliminated the covering to make the dough softer. Angelo dall’Oca Bianca invented the traditional star shape. He created the pyramid mold with eight points.

Pandoro: the traditional Christmas dessert

Even today it is one of the most popular Christmas desserts, together with Panettone. And it is very difficult to reproduce it at home, as it has very long preparation times. To prepare it, it takes up to 36 hours of processing, at least 10 hours of leavening and 7 dough cycles. In conclusion, it is really difficult to create your own pandoro at home.

At Eat & Walk Italy, we don’t know whether we like Pandoro or Panettone more.

And you? What do you prefer for Christmas: pandoro or panettone?

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