The origins of Italy's panettone

If there’s one type of food Italians associate with Christmas, it’s panettone. Although its origins can be traced back to Roman times, panettone as we know it today was born in Milan in the early 1900s. The name of this dome-shaped sweet bread comes from the word panetto, meaning ‘small loaf’. Unlike pandoro from Verona – which is baked plain – panettone is traditionally stuffed with candied fruits. Today, however, panettone comes with a whole range of fillings, from pistachio cream to salted caramel.

The contents of an Italian gourmet Christmas hamper


Although it’s now produced on an industrial scale, there are still a number of smaller producers that make artisan panettone with a focus on quality over quantity. One of these is Augusta, a Milan-based brand that has been making panettone since 1945 using the traditional recipe. Proudly represented in its logo is Milan’s iconic Peace Arch, linking the brand to the city where panettone originated.