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I see panettone everywhere

Practically every store I go into including discount stores have panettone. I have bought them everywhere in the past too. Are there any that stick out above them all? Some are very cheap and some get expensive! Thanks!

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  1. Absolutely!!! William Sonoma at this time of year only. Has chestnuts and decorative tin. I am banned from buying for people unless I give that night or I eat it all lol!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Linda VH

      I have to agree, I love WS's Panettone - one of the most moist I've found.

      And don't forget it makes the BEST french toast when it starts to get a little dry (if you still have some around).

    2. I really like the Trader Joe's brand, raisins and orange peel. I'm eating it for breakfast right now.

      13 Replies
      1. re: escondido123

        !! Will look for it! Can it be frozen? How long will they last if not froze?

        Going to SO parents for Christmas and they are... very bad hoarders and since we will be traveling three states over I will not have access to a real kitchen. This may help ease Christmas morning.

        1. re: Crockett67

          I think they last a fairly long time, assume they can be frozen but they are large so will take up a lot of room in the freezer.

          1. re: escondido123

            I have a 7 cu.ft. freezer that I'm working through so there is room. But I will look on the side of the pack and see.

          2. re: Crockett67

            Panettone lasts for a while. The denser it is, the more life it has. Regardless of the printed expiration date, panettone is fine probably for six months to a year after that date.

            Nonna Maria knows so in this video. She buys her panettone this year (on sale), so that she'll have it for next year. All Italians should watch this vid for a laugh --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXfyRb...

            1. re: Cheese Boy

              !?!? How are they not molding!?! What are they putting in them!

              1. re: Crockett67

                I've asked myself that question many times.
                The commercially made panettones are amazingly resistant to mold.

              2. re: Cheese Boy

                thanks Cheese Boy, I just spent 45 minutes getting addicted to nonnamaria. you really don't have to understand Italian to appreciate that vid, anyone with a grandmother will get it. And most chowhounds should enjoy this one as well.

                humm... i wonder how much rosetta stone or berlitz charge to learn italian...

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  KaimukiMan, on that first video where Nonna Maria is out shopping, click on the "CC" icon (in the screen's lower border) to turn the closed captioning on. Select "English" subtitles as your option, and you're good to go.

                  This video is also fairly well done --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCxwRu...

            2. re: escondido123

              Trader Joe's is delicious and a great bargain, $4.99 instead of the $12-$36 charged other places.

              1. re: Querencia

                There is a big grocery store on the same strip mall selling all kinds of imported ones. The TJs is made in Italy and as good or better than the ones at lest double the price.

                1. re: Querencia

                  I bought a Trader Joe's yesterday afternoon and I don't see any preservatives in the ingredient list. I don't understand how they stay fresh and mold free for the long haul?

                2. re: escondido123

                  Trader Joe's panettone @ $4.99 is the bargain of the season. It has a delicate orange flavor and is loaded with raisins and orange peel. Stays moist and yet the list of ingredients doesn't mention anything scary. And at that price it makes a wonderful casual "extra" little gift.

                  1. re: Querencia

                    Aldi's sells the identical version for $3.99 and by next week $2.99. They freeze well too.

                3. I recently saw a panettone manufactured by Panesonic.

                  1. I keep a few around in the garage for soaking up oil spills.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                      Seriously. Best use for panettone EVER. This stuff is the Anti-Cake.

                      1. re: DuchessNukem

                        Nonsense. Like fruitcake, there are bad ones, and exquisite ones. And the exquisite ones are sublime, and to be savored.
                        Good fruitcake or panettone is really a treat with coffee or tea.

                        1. re: The Professor

                          I agree. I absolutely love a good panettone, fruitcake and stollen. I will choose any one of those (with a good cup of coffee) over a piece of chocolate cake, epecially around the holidays.

                          1. re: ttoommyy

                            I have to put stollen in the number one spot ahead of the other two.
                            Stollen is not too dry and it's not overly dense either. It's perfect.

                        2. re: DuchessNukem

                          You have to sample some of the great ones.
                          Maina made a great one for Neiman Marcus -- it was probably the best I've ever had.

                          1. re: Cheese Boy

                            I'll agree I've never had a great one. The textures I've had have been dry and resistant; the fruits chewy and not well integrated. I'm not a huge cake person from the start, so the substandard panettone I've run into just makes me shrug. I'm probably not going to spend a lot of time trying to find a perfect one.

                      2. I see it everywhere too but have never tried it. It looks like it might be similar to Irish Soda bread. Is it?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: calliope_nh

                          it's sweeter and lighter, almost like polish bobka and with the candied fruit or citron in it.

                          1. re: javaandjazz

                            My faves, bearing I mind I DON'T like Chesnuts (which knocks the Willimas Sonoma one out instantly) are Bauli, which comes in a pink box (an is fairly reasonably priced, usually) and Les Tres Marias which usually comes in a low wide box, which seems to change color/logo every year (I think it's sort of goldy-bronze this year, but don't quote me on that) and tends to be in the middle expensive range ($25-$30 per loaf, as opposed to the 13-16 Bauli usually goes for. Then again, the full sized Maria is quite a bit bigger.)
                            Do NOT get the one from Zingerman's, it's awful (Actually I haven't had particualry good luck with ANY of the so called "fresh baked ones". As much as it goes against everything I believe about food, I'm beginning to think the old line a lot of Italians gave me may be true (the one that goes "A good pannetone needs to be made in a large factory and spend several months lounging around in a warehouse or a container ship"There is no point in trying to find a fresh backed one [or trying to bake your own]). No to be racist/regionalist, but you may want to avoid any of the South American brands as well, a lot of those used candied papaya in leiu of citron (plus they tend to be a dry as dust by the time they get here).

                          2. re: calliope_nh

                            it's a yeast bread. The texture is light.

                          3. I don't get the phenomenon either....is the perception that because of the Italian connection, it's classier than a fruitcake in a can? To me, they're "meh" but it's my understanding that they are/were a Northern Italian creation so admittedly they weren't present on the holiday tables of my youth (Neapolitan family intermarried with Sicilians). For us at the holidays, there were homemade sfogliatell, struffoli and what we called "totos", dense lemon or anisette cookies with royal icing on them.

                            I have tried panettone and to me it tastes like very mild store-bought eggnog, and the texture has ranged from cupcake-like to challah-like. The "best" one I've tried is the one made by the Baci candy people, Perugina. Even that one went into a bread pudding, eventually, and wasn't eaten "straight".

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: pinehurst

                              I don't like any of them BUT Williams Sonoma!

                              1. re: pinehurst

                                Different strokes for different folks, pinehurst. I love pannetone. I too grew up with the Italian sweets you mention and never had pannetone until the last 10 years or so. To me, struffoli are "meh" as you say. I still do not get the appeal of them. As for pannetone, there is nothing like it with a good cup of coffee, tea or a macchiato. When it is of good quality and fresh, it is delicious.

                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                  I'm with you -- they're awesome with coffee.

                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                    I just realized I did not answer the OP's question with either of my previous replies. Sorry javaandjazz. While I am not brand loyal when it comes to panettone, I always try to buy one that has the least amount of ingredients in it, therefore making it a little bit better, in my opinion. The ones without all the chemical additives may not last as long, but they usually are the tastier ones in my opinion.

                                    Also, I realize I spelled panettone incorrectly in my previous posts. I'm embarrassed.

                                  2. re: pinehurst

                                    Pinehurst, that's funny, I was just thinking "challah-like" too! :-) Except with a delicate floral/citrus note, a lot higher tender buttery insides to crust ratio, and tender candied citrus. Thickly sliced, lightly toasted, it makes a great breakfast or snack.

                                    I only learned to like panettone a few Christmases ago. As a kid we tried it and it was dry/dusty, but after having some good ones I really like it. Trader Joe's version would be my go-to brand for convenience & price. My inlaws get fancier versions for the holidays which are even nicer but unfortunately I don't recall the brand.

                                  3. To our surprise, Panera Bread had a version last year that was very delicious and yeasty.
                                    Aldi's sells mini Panettone this time of year for a ridiculous $3.99 and was surprisingly moist and flavorful.

                                    But otherwise I bake my own which is actually a great deal of fun.

                                    Panettone cut into thick slices makes outstanding bread pudding and french toast!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      "Panettone cut into thick slices makes outstanding bread pudding and french toast!"

                                      Those are two good uses for leftover pannetone, but my favorite is to slice it, slather it with Nutella, sandwich it together and then grill on a panini press, slice into "sticks" and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar. I made this for a New Year's Eve gathering one year and they were gone in seconds flat.

                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                        My son, who is a Nutella junkie, loves this version. Not sure if he's made "sticks" but chances are good he inhaled the toast to quick to care.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          When I am alone, I do not bother cutting them into individual sticks; I too inhale the whole sandwich. I only cut it into sticks when making it for a group so that people have bite-sized portions to choose from.

                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                            Great visual...ttoommyy...when I spoke to my son about this, this evening he responded with the usual...that spells care pkg. Mom :)

                                    2. If you're curious about panettone, but don't like candied fruit, you should look for pandoro, a similar confection with no fruit, but with a center filled with pastry cream. Also, those who do like the fruit, but prefer something denser than panettone, might like panforte, a specialty of Tuscany. Unlike panettone, which is tall, it is only an inch or two high and chock full of fruit and nuts. There is also a version with chocolate and nuts that is especially delicious.

                                      1. It's yeast-based unlike soda bread. And it toasts beautifully. I have never met any I didn't like, unlike fruitcake, about which I am deadly picky.

                                        The commercial ones keep well, and yes, you can freeze it.

                                        1. think brioche with dried fruit.

                                          1. This pannettone from Emporio Rulli is delightful. I love the Milanese.


                                            1. Has anyone made it at home? It's been on my to-do list for about 20 years.

                                              If yes, how does it compare to purchased pannetone?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: splatgirl

                                                Many x's @ home and I prefer it actually because I can control the type of fruit bits & the sweetness.

                                                My home version is more yeasty than cakey.

                                              2. I'm glad I read Le Tre Marie somewhere in the replies.

                                                I actually grew up on panettone and pandoro and the only one that I found in the US that is similar to the freshly baked ones I usually have in Italy at Christmas is Le Tre Marie.

                                                All the other ones seems just stale to me... Bauli a little better...

                                                Real panettone definitely doesn't last a year, and the ones from the bakeries are meant to be eaten on the same day or maximum within a week.

                                                The Pandoro dough is a little different, more fluffy, the exterior isn't slightly crusty but soft (the panettone needs a little crust on the exterior, just a little bit, really thin) and is meant to be eaten with mascarpone cream on the side. The ones filled with creams, etc are not real pandoros but "commercial" versions made to please customers.

                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: alepenazzi

                                                  I thought I knew my favorite panettone until I tasted this one from Pasticceria Biasetto in Padua, it blows any other panettone out of the water based on taste and the amazing ingredients Chef Luigi Biasetto uses. I have never met anyone who has tried this panettone and doesn't think it is the best. Seriously, if you have tried this panettone and still prefer another one, please tell me. Buon Natale!

                                                  1. re: ela_tarantella

                                                    Now all I have to do is convince somebody to buy me one
                                                    because I ain't spending no seventy bucks on no panettone.

                                                    If they buy two or three, does it come with a car detail at least?

                                                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                      @Cheese Boy, you don't know what your missing! Many people I know don't care for panettone at all until they try this one. And the thing about the price is that it is expensive for a reason. The ingredients are THE BEST available, no compromises. Quality over quantity is my motto around the holidays, which means one panettone for me every December, and it is always Biasetto. Plus, even if I did by 2 or 3, I don't have a car, so I couldn't use the complementary detail ;)

                                                      1. re: ela_tarantella

                                                        "The ingredients are THE BEST available, no compromises. Quality over quantity is my motto around the holidays,"

                                                        What possible ingredients, even "THE BEST" could possibly warrant a $70 price tag for a simple sweet bread like paettone? I can see maybe paying up to $30, but even that is steep.

                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                          @ttoommyy, I agree with you, the idea of paying $70 for a panettone takes some getting used to. Typical industiral "Italian" panettone usually includes ingredients that are largely from outside Italy, including the flour. The Pasticceria Biasetto panettone is not only made by an artisan chef, but the ingredients are sourced from artisans and farmers. First of all Pasticceria Biasetto panettone is made with a natural mother yeast that has been cultivated for years by the chef, it is also made with locally stone milled flour, local eggs, Italian butter, honey from the Alps, untreated orange peel, organic raisins and organic Vanilla from Madagascar.

                                                          1. re: ela_tarantella

                                                            I still cannot fathom how good, natural, locally sourced ingredients can amount to a $70 pannetone.

                                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                                              Being born and raised steps away from the area were panettone was invented I totally agree with you...

                                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                ha ha, @ttommyy, I guess there are worse things in this world than sounding like an artisan panettone advertisement. I probably sound that way bc I am very well informed about this panettone bc am on team Gustiamo! With them I have gotten to know the this pasticceria... but really, I do think Biasetto Panettone is the bomb ;)

                                                          2. re: Cheese Boy


                                                            With so many high end panettones to choose from one shouldn't feel neglected or slighted by a $75.00 verison. Every manufacturer believes theirs is the best.

                                                            1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                              Do you have a Trader Joe's? Their panettone is $4.99 and seems plenty good enough to me.

                                                              1. re: Querencia

                                                                Will give the TJ's panettone a try.
                                                                The price is right too.

                                                        2. I've had a panettone or two, even in Italy, and find them dry and disappointing. I'll take a fruit cake over a panettone any day--though I'm not a fruit cake fanatic by any means. Stollen might as well be dumped, too.

                                                          1. Y'all keep saying french toast, but you can cut up panettone into chunks and dunk it into Chocolate Fondue! (Pandoro is good for that too)

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: pdxgastro

                                                              Actually I've tried panettone with fondue. The panettone was either to delicate to hold up to the weight of dipping chocolate or covered up the delicate flavor. I didn't think much of using it that way.

                                                            2. Has anyone tried Whole foods panettone?

                                                              1. The panettone that sticks out for me is that of Emporio Rulli in Larkspur, CA -http://www.rulli.com/

                                                                It is spectacular. Not cheap, but worth the price and they will ship it for you.

                                                                Best use of panettone? Hollow it out, fill it with ice cream and refreeze.