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Pandoro of Verona: the story of the Christmas cake

We are approaching Christmas, where all the relatives and friends gather around a table and consume all kinds of delicacies. The menus are different from region to region, from family to family, but at the end there is a dessert that puts everyone in agreement: the Pandoro. The typical dessert of Verona, over the years, has spread throughout Italy and is now conquering admirers from various parts of the world. Its taste and its unmistakable shape make it special and excellent during the Christmas season.

The origins of Pandoro are very old, someone think that they are to be attributed to a Roman recipe, others claim that it was born in the Venetian Republic, around 1500 AD. There is an aura of mystery that surrounds not only the period, but also the ancient recipes from which the Pandoro would derive. The most reliable theories attribute the star shape as a consequence of the "Nadalin" mold, also a typical dessert of Verona, while for the ingredients, it would be very similar to the Vienna bread, a cake comparable to brioches.

Officially, the Pandoro, as we know it, was born on October 14, 1894, when the pastry chef of Verona Domenico Melegatti filed the Christmas cake patent at the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce of the Kingdom of Italy. Domenico was inspired by a tradition of the women in Verona, who used to meet on the Christmas Eve to knead the "Levà", a sweet leavened covered with grains of sugar and almonds. Melegatti's intuition was to remove the cover, to allow the Pandoro to leaven better, and add butter to make it softer and tastier. The name is linked to a legend according to which a passerby, at the sight of the gold-colored mixture, made a shout calling him: Pan d'oro (golden bread)!



To date, as a province sweet, Pandoro is appreciated throughout Italy, becoming the number one rival of the Panettone di Milano. The 2017 has seen the Panettone dominate little, but this year the sweetest Christmas challenge has started again, with the Pandoro ready to redeem.

And you, what will you eat this Christmas? Pandoro or Panettone?

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