Podcast Episode 1: Panettone

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Show notes

I’ve been wanting to launch a podcast to complement the main Luca’s Italy site for more than a year. And, as a Christmas present to all my readers and followers I’ve launched it today. The first episode has a really Christmassy theme to it: the history of the panettone, the archetypal Italian Christmas cake. From its legendary origins to the birth of mass production in the 1920s the cake has a fascinating history and not one that you’d really expect.

There would have been many contenders for the title of the Italian National Christmas Cake from the pandoro, to panforte, the ricciarello, to the parrozzo. But panettone was in the right place at the right time and took the title hands down in just a few years. The podcast traces its rise from humble beginnings to the only cake I know that has its own show on Italian TV.

I mention a couple of videos in the podcast and also a link to a panettone recipe. I’ve included them below the podcast player below so that you can enjoy them. Happy listening and please let me know what you think in the comments.

If you have any questions about this episode, please write them in the comments below and I will answer them as soon as possible. As always, if you enjoyed the episode, please share it with someone else you think might enjoy it. If you have a moment, please rate and/or write a review for this episode on iTunes. This will help other people to find and enjoy the podcast. Thank you so much for your continued support of Luca’s Italy and for all the wonderful feedback I’ve received so far. If you’d like to help me create and develop this podcast and receive exclusive bonus material and updates, please consider becoming a patron. Full details are on my Patreon site. Grazie mille!


1935 newsreel of the Motta panettone factory.

1938 newsreel of the Motta panettone factory.

‘Like a piece of candied peel at Christmas’ (Motta advert 2017)

My favourite homemade panettone recipe from my friend Christina Conte’s blog.

10 thoughts on “Podcast Episode 1: Panettone”

  1. Claire Chamberlain

    Love this Luca. I’m going out in the morning to buy another panettone after listening. Fascinating mix of social and culinary history

    1. The more you dig down into these things the more fascinating they become. It’s lovely to think of the humble panettone being one of the instruments of making Italians feel one.

  2. Loved the history on panettone; who knew? There are some absolute disgraces to panettone which are sold here in the US, under allegedly “Italian” brand names. The cherry panettone you mention sounds intriguing, but I may have to wait until next year to try one. Thank you so much for including my recipe! I actually made one last week and it’s been so nice to have with a cup of tea (British, of course)! Grazie mille, Luca, and Buon Natale!

  3. Luca’s history of the ubiquitous and iconic Italian Christmas treat is informative, entertaining and interesting.He takes us through from the origins of the Panettone in Renaissance Milan to its present day place as part of the delights found on our festive table. With amusing anecdotes ,an in depth understanding of his subject, and vintage film of the manufacturing process , Luca gives us more reason to appreciate our Christmas Panetonne.

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