A bit of curiosity, if not history.
As panettone is the best known and most loved Milanese specialty in the world, here is a short legend about how it was invented.
One Christmas Eve many years ago a banquet was being held at the court of Ludovico Sforza. There was a festive atmosphere with music, singing and jesters performing. The lavish dinner was expected to be crowned with a fabulous cake personally prepared by the head cook and made to a most secret recipe of his. By mistake, or inadvertently, the delicious cake burnt. In the kitchen, beside the desperate head cook, Toni, a kitchen-hand, mixed the remains of the burnt cake with some candied fruit, spices, eggs and sugar.
When the new cake was ready he suggested the head cook should serve it. Despite its loaf-like appearance, they had no alternative. So, arranged on a platter, the cake was taken to the table where, after some initial perplexities, it had great, unexpected success; even Ludovico himself congratulated the head cook on his creation. This is how, the “pan-del-Toni” (Toni’s bread), hence called panettone, became the city’s emblematic cake.
Another version has that Toni made the special bread cake to win the hearth of the daughter of his boss, you are free to choose the version you prefer, while you taste your pan-del-Toni panettone.
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy
Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.
The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.
Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.
The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)