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.