Panettone is the most classic of anniversary desserts and the one that has made Italian pastry art known around the world.
The first evidence of the presence of a dessert of this kind dates back to the 13th century, when a yellow cake mixed with raisins was produced in the Milanese countryside.
Legend tells that the name derives from a certain Toni, a young cook in the kitchensof Ludovico il Moro (1452-1508), who had to improvise a dessert for an important banquet, the one originally planned being burned. With picking ingredients Toni achieved great success, so much so that his product would take the name of "Pan del Toni", then contracted into "panettone".
But there are other more or less imaginative hypotheses on the origin of the name.Towards the end of the nineteenth century / early twentieth century the panettone was produced with a now canonical recipe by some renowned pastry shops, in particular Marchesi, Le Tre Marie, Cova, Biffi, Biffi "Scala", Peck, Vergani, Sant'Ambreus, Taveggia and the Giuseppe Baj confectionery in Piazza del Duomo, at the corner of Via Santa Radegonda.
The most enterprising - and Giuseppe Baj was one of the first -, encouraged by the success, began to "propagate" the product first throughout Italy and then abroad.
To temporarily interrupt the fortune of panettone came the First World War, which on the one hand eliminated international trade, on the other favored the development of cheaper products, destined for a wide circulation.
It should be remembered that both Angelo Motta and Gino Alemagna had the ability to create brands that were known all over the world starting from the position of shop boys of the most renowned pastry shops of the time, showing the excellent entrepreneurial skills that have always characterized Milanese People. And they had the undoubted merit of making panettone known on a planetary scale at a previously unthinkable level.
Today panettone is experiencing a moment of strong expansion in the world, thanks to its goodness above all, but also thanks to the very high level of Italian production and the growing interest of important chefs, who have begun to use it in a "creative" way, inventing curious variations and using it for the preparation of dishes even different from the classic dessert.
Among the more "creative" products we can certainly mention the “Focaccia di Tabiano” by the Master pastry chef Claudio Gatti.
Focaccia has always been the flagship specialty of Pasticceria Tabiano and the product that brought it into the spotlight. Why is it called that?
It is a leavened pastry, similar to the panettone dough: due to the natural leavening process and the complexity of the manufacturing process, it requires about 36 hours of processing.
It is a unique dessert, similar to Christmas Panettone and Easter Colomba, but with a much lower percentage of fat: about 11% against an average of 16-18%. For this reason we use the name focaccia and not of Colomba or Panettone.
All the focaccia pastas are enriched with chunks of fruit. Once cooked and after cooling, a splash of syrup is added, chosen according to the variety of focaccia.
How to consume Focaccia? It is recommended to cut it at least twenty days after its production. Just keep the Focaccia in a cool place: after three weeks, the dough has acquired the right aromatic balance and is at the height of its organoleptic characteristics of taste, softness and humidity.