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In the eternal diatribe between panettone and pandoro, this is how the famous cake from Verona is born

Like many Italian culinary traditions, the history of the pandoro also sees its birthplace long ago. At the beginning of the 20th century the founder of the same name company Domenico Melegatti deposited to the patent office a soft eight-pointed star-shaped cake made by Angelo Dall’Oca Bianca, a famous painter of the time. It was 1894 and so the modern recipe was born as the evolution of another Veronese dessert: the “Nadalin”. Going even further back in time we can trace the first pandoro recipe to ancient Rome. Pliny the Elder in fact cites it in a written of the first century A.D., stating that a cook prepared a “panis” with butter oil and flour flowers. Certainly, despite being one of the main products of Christmas tradition, the pandoro has often been little appreciated compared to the panettone. The sales charts are clear: it is the “pan de toni” from Milan that goes for the most. The most valuable are certainly the artisan ones and over time many pastry chefs have proposed different versions. We start from the places of origin, that is from Verona, homeland of the pandoro, and then take a roundup which embraces the whole Italy. A I Dolci della Regina, pastry shop of the historic Hotel Regina Adelaide in Garda (Vr), focuses on the freshness of the ingredients and the softness of the product, refined in its classicism. His “Pandoro della Regina” has several stages of leavening, the last of a duration of 14 hours. At the Lorenzetti pastry shop in San Giovanni Lupatoto (Vr), pandoro is the home-made cake since 1970. The pastry chef Daniele Lorenzetti offers both a classic version and the Venetian Recioto, for all lovers of leavened spirits. It is a typically Venetian variant between pandoro and panettone. Iginio Massari’s Pasticceria Veneto was inaugurated in 1971. Since then it delights palates with a classic pandoro, balanced and delicate. Here the pandoro-sfoglia was born, even softer and lighter, a reinterpretation of the traditional one. Alfonso Pepe, master pastry chef from Salerno in Minori, on the Amalfi Coast, was able to grasp the tradition of Northern Italy and make it fully his own. Its pandoro, leavened for 36 hours, is soft and delicate, with the scent of cocoa butter, giving a touch that goes from citrus to classic. And now let’s take a dip in the big distribution, where we can also find a lot of tradition and innovation. Paluani, a historic Veronese pastry shop with a century of history, introduces two important lines for this Christmas: 1921 and Gran Velo, a stuffed Christmas cake and classic one, respectively. Sourdough, slow leavening and natural cooling are some of the processes and ingredients that guarantee and confirm the quality of this historic Veronese company that was the mother of the pandoro in the large-scale distribution.

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