With a dizzying array of options in the shops, we've narrowed it down to a fabulous five. But what makes a good panettone?
Origin: Make sure your panettone comes from Italy. This is the first indicator of quality. Cheap panettone can be made across Europe, and in the USA. The majority are produced in Brazil.
Weight: Good quality panettone is usually heavier than its cheaper counterparts. They often contain more ingredients and retain more moisture within the dough. Inferior panettone can be dry, light and crumbly.
Aroma: The smell should hit you as soon as you cut into your panettone. This will be down to using good quality ingredients like Madagascan vanilla and local citrus fruit.
Texture: When you buy a truly good panettone, you’ll notice that it tears in large strips – almost like a mozzarella. Cheap panettone will have a more bread-like structure.
Taste: Good panettone will be rich and buttery, with a great golden colour to match.
1. Mindful bites Veganttone
A classic Christmas treat for all your vegan friends, this veganettone is made with the same Italian artisanal traditions and passions passed down from three generations. This Christmas classic uses plant-based ingredients and is organic.
Available at Whole Foods Market here.
2. Loison Matcha and Pistacio
This classic Italian panettone is studded with raisins, orange and citrus and is incredibly light and airy. The Loison family have been making panettone for over 75 years – and you can tell they’re masters of their craft. Rich, buttery, studded with candied fruits and rich in warm vanilla, every mouthful is a joy. Each yeasted cake takes 72 hours from beginning to end, which gives rise to their exquisite texture and rich flavour.
NEW: Matcha & Pistachio 600g, £19.99
Available at souschef.co.uk
3. Partridges Artisan Panettone di Milano
There is a long, centuries-old link between the city of Milan and Panettone, dating back to the Middle Ages, and many are the stories told about the creation of Milan’s most popular loaf. They include romantic and poetic stories of noble knights, charitable nuns or kitchen boys at the court of the City Lords. Between myth and reality, one thing is for sure: a 1395 decree allowed all Milan bakeries to bake the so-called Pan del Ton (meaning a valuable bread) for Christmas: a white loaf made from wheat flour, that even the poor could have on that special holiday.
This “luxury” bread was at the heart of a Christmas tradition in Milan, the ceremony of the “tree stump”: on Christmas Eve, the head of house divided a Pan del Ton, handing out a piece to each family member as they gathered around the fireplace. In time, Panettone has become Italy’s most popular Christmas cake from North to South, with many producers scattered across the country. This panettone is incredibly balanced (not too sweet), with succulent oranges and raisins and a soft and fluffy dough.
Gold Wrapped with Ribbon - 500g: £13.50
Presented in a Gold, Red or Green bag and string tied - 1kg: £24.99
Exclusively available from www.partridges.co.uk
4. Seggaino Limoncello Panettone
The evocative flavour of Sorrento lemons that are used to produce the Amalfi Coast limoncello liqueur for this panettone sing through in every bite. Baked by Seggiano’s expert baker Beniamino in his Lake Garda bakery, this heavenly panettone is layered with creamy limoncello marmalade.
Seggiano’s Christmas collection is available direct from Seggiano.com for home delivery in the UK & NI. Many of the products are seasonally produced in line with local tradition so availability dates can vary, what this guarantees is incredible freshness and therefore the very best in flavour and quality. Last orders for delivery before Christmas Day to be placed on 17th December.
Price: £16.45 for 500g cake
5. Macknade Italian Panettone Milanese
Made by Vergani, a multi-generational family business based in the centre of Milan, Macknade’s Christmas Panettone is made with love, following the family’s original recipe and using only the finest ingredients. Vergani are rightly proud of their Milanese history and craftsmanship and Macknade are delighted to be working with them.
Price: 500g: £12.00, 1kg: £15.00
Available here: https://macknade.com/shop/
[Items in this article may have been gifted to Chatting Food. No financial payment has been made to feature in this article, and entries to the feature are made independently by members of the Editorial Team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases]
Chatting Food Editor: Ellen Pope
Self-confessed potty mouth, mother of pooch and eater of 99.9% of food (don't bring me marzipan and tell me it is food). Ellen is the founder and Editor of Chatting Food Magazine and on a one-woman mission to talk food to everyone. Usually found tweeting, eating, sleeping, repeating.