Me: “Umm, guys? I have something to tell you.”
Family: “Ok, Sharona, what is it?”
Me: “I’ve been meaning to tell you all for a while, but I just didn’t have it in me.”
Family: “Yes…?” (Looking admittedly concerned.)
Me: “Ok.” (Deep breath.) “I reallllly don’t like panettone.”
The response was mixed. My dad asked me, sort of jokingly, if I had examined the underlying causes that had rendered me so deeply troubled an individual that I would reject something so universally acknowledged to be wonderful as panettone. My sister was quietly, mostly just incredulous. And Mom, with perhaps too much gusto was like “Fine, whatever, you can do what you want.” But methinks she doth protest a bit too much. You know how moms have way of saying something is fine that makes it very clear just how NOT fine it is?
I can’t blame them. In our family, this confession is about on par with telling a 5 year-old there’s no Santa. For years I’ve been faking it—getting all excited with them when Mom comes home with the big red box of panettone from Costco that almost always comprises our Christmas breakfast. We would all sit around and daydream about the moning we would eat it and what a harbinger of the Christmas season it was. I felt like such a fraud.
For those of you who have had panettone, and love it—go ahead, judge me. For those of you who’ve never experienced it, it’s a sweet, yeasty Italian bread that’s traditionally made with raisins and candied orange peel. It’s not gross, by any means, it’s just not my cup of tea. It’s kind of bitter from the orange peel, with a je ne sais quoi flavor that I just can’t place. I can’t tell if it tastes processed, or just not good.
Year after year I’d suck down like a pound of it at breakfast…because you NEVER feel full when you eat it. For something that has the audacity to weigh in at 11 grams of fat and 325 calories per serving (and trust me a serving is not a pound), it leaves you hungry again in—no lie—under an hour. Oh, and did I mention you’re supposed to dip it in powdered sugar?
This year, when everyone else joyfully laid into the panettone, I had eggs and an English muffin instead. I have to admit, I was a little sad not to partake in the holiday tradition. But when noon rolled around, and I wasn’t even hungry yet—I realized, this was one tradition I was happy to forgo.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says
I’m with you! For some reason, anything with candied fruit doesn’t appeal to me. Fruit is best when it’s covered in chocolate – everyone knows that!
Sharon, you’re supposed to toast panettone and then slather butter on it!!! Mmmmmmm Ok, English muffins are good too.
Terri A. says
I’m not a fan either. Growing up my mom would always make stollen for Christmas morning. Luckily, I “came out” about it much earlier in life, so as not to have to endure it. I lost my mom last year and surprisingly, missed the stollen sitting on the counter for everyone else to eat (even though I still would not have!).
Totally on board with you Sharon. Babka is a much better choice, though is traditional for Easter. Ironically when I looked up the spelling of Babka I found the follwoing quote from a Williams Professor. “It is a spongy yeast cake that is traditionally baked for Easter Sunday in Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine and Western Russia. Darra Goldstein, professor of Russian at Williams College says “babka comes from baba, a very tall, delicate yet rich yeast-risen cake eaten in Western Russia and Eastern Poland.”
Sharon went to Williams College!
Just to put my 2 cents in here, Sharon, I may have been quiet, but I fully support and respect your decision to not eat panettone 🙂 More for me.
While I never made you eat anything you didn’t like, I encouraged you keep trying challenging foods. You just never know when your taste buds might have a change of heart.
In fact, I know taste buds evolve because there was a time I didn’t like panettone either!
I wasn’t a panettone fan for years. I thought it was dry and bitter. No thanks.
Then, my BIL went to school in Italy. Nearby, there is a place where Italians go nuts for the panettone. He brought home a giant one for Christmas. It was amazing. Moist, delicious and not at all bitter. He married a nice Italian girl, and we covet them at the holidays.
Nothing available domestically can touch them.
David Anderson says
De gustibus non est disputandum, babe.
A slice of Panettone sprinkled with sugar the moistened with milk or cream is delicious. Reminds me of bread pudding only better. Panettone by itself is just too dry and uninteresting.
I’m sorry, but there hasn’t been enough support for panettone so i’m here to weigh in on the side of ‘boy have you missed out’.
I’m Italian, grew up having panettone at xmas and colomba (similar) at easter. I live in italy where the range and quality panettone available is dangerous.
One problem foreign countries encounter with imported products is that they often get a mediocre product.
A good panettone is great all on it’s own. no extra butter, NADA. The way to use the powdered sugar is to tip it out into the bag with the panettone and give it a good shake so it completely dusted in sugar.
it’s super moist and it you don’t like the candied fruit you can have varieties without, or even Pandoro.
You can’t stop at one slice but who cares, it’s xmas.
Admittedly it can dry out quickly, but then it’s awesome to dip into caffe latte.
See it just keeps giving.
Long live panettone.
Don’t like it at all
in ’95 bought the red box in Sienna
Now, the Ricciarelli, HEAVEN!!!