It’s panettone time once again. The sweet and airy bread studded with various fruits (cherries, raisins, bits of glazed glazed orange and lemon, for instance) is a seasonal treat (originally from Milan) is a centuries-old Italian tradition and time-consumptive to make. It’s shaped pretty much like a chef’s toque.
Each year, the holiday season finds 19 varieties of imported panettones stacked on shelves at Cori Bros. Market, priced from $7.29 for the mini, and $27 to $35 for the 2.2-pound (kilo) versions.
The novelty flavor is the “panettone rosa,” a Sultana (read: big) raisin bread flavored with honey, Madagascar vanilla-laced pastry cream, and rose syrup made from old-garden rose petals and lemon juice. Our tasters found it satisfyingly lush, not overly sweet, with balanced flavors and textures and a wonderful aroma. Give it four stars.
So, what do you do if you want a panettone that feeds 100 guests? Why, fork over $218 for the traditionally flavored (raisins and candied fruit) 22-pound edition. Seriously.
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Corti Bros. Market, 5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento; 916-736-3814, www.cortibrothers.com.