Panettone vs. Pandoro: The sweet dilemma of Italian Christmases (Part2) Told by Caterina Bonora (Welcome Centre)
The Veronese-Viennese roots of the Pandoro
In contrast to the Panettone, the Pandoro has a precise birthdate: October 14, 1894. On this date Domenico Melegatti invented and patented the Pandoro in its current recipe, name and form. However, his invention was based on an already existing Christmas cake, the nadalin, which was invented already in the XIII century to celebrate the first Christmas under the rule of another powerful north-Italian family, the Scaligeri. But in this new version, Melegatti put much more butter, eggs and baking powder, to render the cake much softer and bigger. In doing so, he might have taken inspiration from the Viennese patisserie, and in particular from a cake called “Viennese bread”, a softer version of the French croissants.
Both the Pandoro and the Panettone are therefore a bit international as well. Nowadays they are popular in many other countries besides Italy. Their export, 18% of which goes to Germany, is currently worth about 500 million Euros. The Panettone and Pandoro are however just two among an immensely rich and diverse range of regional cakes and pastries, if one considers that each of the 20 Italian regions has its own holiday season sweets. But if you are lost on what sweet to have at the end of a Christmas meal in Italy, these two bestsellers are always an excellent choice!