I bought my panettone today! This is the only tradition left from my semester in Florence so many years ago. I was on a semester abroad program from July to December 1968 and was introduced to wonderful panettone (along with yogurt, Bel Paese cheese, and unsalted butter–I know, odd foods to taste for the first time in Italy). I led a very sheltered life in so many ways! 😉
I never saw it again until the late 1970s when it started appearing in England. It tasted just as good as I remembered, and since then I’ve usually bought some every Christmas.
When I open the box and the plastic wrapper and smell those wonderful spices it takes me back to Florence. Although now I wonder how it stays so soft and fresh–surely they bake it year round!
It seems to arrive earlier each year, and in many more places. For a long time you could only get it in specialty food stores. Now Whole Foods has panettone with chocolate chips or cranberries; surely this is heresy!
mmmmmmm…must go to bed, so that tomorrow morning comes soon!