Let’s continue to learn Italian language through Italian food!
Last week we learned Italian language in an article about one of the most famous sweet bread correlated to Christmas: do you remember the name? If not, go here and check it out!
Today we are going to discover the origins of the other one to improve Italian language: Pandoro!
This sweet Christmas bread from Verona is star-shaped and dusted with powdered sugar (some say to make it look like the nearby mountains). The name pan d’oro means “bread of gold,” and since white bread cost a lot in the Middle Ages and was consumed only by the wealthy, that’s exactly what this would have seemed like to the Veronese families who pinched pennies to enjoy this treat once a year! Today, you’ll sometimes see a hole cut in pandoro and filled with chantilly cream or gelato.
Learn Italian Language reading Pandoro’s Venetian origins
A typical preparation of the Venetian Republic, which around 1500 was famous for serving a cake known as “pane de oro”. The origin of the modern recipe instead is certainly Veronese, in particular as an evolution of nadalin, the most famous ancestor of pandoro.
The most important date of the pandoro is October 14, 1894. In that day Domenico Melegatti, founder of the famous confectionery company that bears his name, filed the patent for his recipe, a soft dessert with such a recognizable shape. From that year the pandoro began to arrive on the tables of all Italians, challenging the Milanese panettone.
Actually, we do not know exactly how things went: someone suggests that it comes from the custom of the Venetian Republic to cover a cone-shaped cake with very thin gold foils, as a sign of wealth. Some suggest instead that its origin is more recent, linked to the fairy tales that told the old ladies of Verona to their grandchildren on a delicious golden bread to eat with the angels.
At the end, there is another version, that gives all the merit of the name to a simple boy. The young boy saw a slice of this cake, with such a yellow dough thanks to the use of many eggs, and exclaimed the “pan de oro! So, the famous cake mixed with milk, flour and yeast, enriched with eggs and butter, became the pandoro that we all know today.
So, know is your turn!! Have you tested Panettone and Pandoro? Which one do you prefer? And if you haven’t tasted, which one is more good in your opinion? Why? Try to use simple Italian words to describe the taste of both of them.