Each family has its own traditions, especially in the kitchen. During this period the tables of the Italians, from north to south, are filled with typical dishes and regional sweets. But which food makes you think more about Christmas? We have chosen 4 and we will tell you their story.
Panettone. Typical Milanese dessert of still uncertain origin. Some legends tell that it was invented by a certain Toni, a boy in the service of Ludovico Maria Sforza. To remedy a mistake in the kitchen, Toni added eggs, butter, candied fruit and raisins to the mother yeast that he had kept to celebrate Christmas with his family, creating the “Pan de Toni”. Other sources tell of how at the time, in northern Italy, it was customary to serve richer bread at Christmas, a custom that was then resumed throughout Italy.
The nougat. The Arabs would have been the first to bring to the Mediterranean a dessert very similar to the nougat we know, made of honey and sesame. Cremona, an important port on the Po, made this tradition its own, so much so that many pastry chefs still today attribute the authorship of it. This is because in 1468, during the marriage of Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza, a cake called “Torrazzo” was made. The name derives from the tower of the cathedral of the city.
Dried fruit. It was thanks to the Egyptians who bore such fruits in the Greek and Roman civilizations.
In the Christian era, the consumption of dried fruit was loaded with mystical symbolisms.
Beyond its Catholic origins, there are many traditions related to Christmas, which show that dried fruit and Christmas have been united through history, with a visible union, not only in traditional recipes, but also in the value of some habits. In fact, who has never used a nutcracker during the holidays?
The tangerines. How many times have we found them in homes over the Christmas period? To be eaten as a fresh fruit, to perfume the house, for desserts, this seasonal fruit has a thousand uses. It is a citrus fruit originally from the Far East, first brought to Malta by the British and then to Palermo, before spreading throughout the south.