Gifts for Cooks: Panettone for Christmas
Run out of time to bake all those panettone you meant to give as gifts? Not to worry. There's still time to order some imported from Italy from Corti Brothers in Sacramento.
This year, owner and gourmand extraordinaire Darrell Corti is bringing in the traditional sweet breads from Loison Pasticceria in the Veneto and Bardi bakery in Piemonte, Italy. Loison's panettone come in half a dozen varieties, including a whole wheat version, one made with aromatic candied chinotto citrus from the Italian Riviera, another with white Calabrian Dottato figs and the "classico" in a collectible tin, $28.99 to $37.99. The most expensive is made with dried grapes from the Vicenza area plumped with Fausto Maculan's Torcolato, a sweet wine from the Veneto, $47.99.
Bardi makes panettone in the Piemontese style in both tall and low shapes, with or without candied fruit, glazed with hazelnut paste or perfumed with orange flower water and studded with pieces of chocolate, $23.99 to $29.49. It also makes Pandoro, the tall, star-shaped loaves that are a specialty of Verona, $25.29. I'm getting very hungry just writing this. Even if you don't get it together to order in time for Christmas, according to Corti, panettone is eaten up until "the conventionally established end of Christmas, 2 February," 40 days after Dec. 25. Breathe a sigh of relief. To note: Corti Brothers is an old-fashioned sort of business which only recently established a Web address. The site isn't slick, but here it is: http://www.cortibros.biz. Or call (800) 509-FOOD to order.
-- S. Irene Virbila
File photo credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times