Genoese Pandolce - Preti 1851 srl - Pastry company

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Pandolce… don’t call it Panettone!
His origins since the dawn of times

Someone finds it similar  to flavoured bread with honey and dried fruit that used to be offered to the gods in ancient Egypt and in Greece; others affirm that it has roots in the Persian empire where  they used to prepare a sweet bread  to offer to the king the first day of the year; the most accredited theory affirms that pandolce has risen from the ashes of pan co’o zebibbo (zebibbo bread), a boule-shaped bread enriched with dried grapes.

The word zibibbo derives from the Arab word zabib that means raisin and in Genoese dialect has got the same meaning. In this context were very important the contacts of maritime cities, among them Genoa, with Northern Africa and the Far East. In the Middle Ages dried fruit had high value and was traded with gold.

The first historical document that certifies “Ligurian pandolce” dates back to Renaissance’s splendour, when Genoa was a powerful maritime Republic. At that time Admiral Andrea D’Oria was on duty and the legend tells that he announced in person a competition among the best confectioners in Genoa to create a dessert that would have represented Genoa’s splendour around the world and that could be nourishment for sailors during their long journeys, still nowadays in western Riviera is called “Sailor’s bread”.

In more recent time, pandolce saved a precise ritual: it was homemade by women, it was offered for Christmas by the youngest person in the family while the head of the family shared it in equal slices for all dining companions.

One slice was put aside for the poors and another slice was put aside to be shared with the family on 3rd February, St. Biagio day, throat’s and gluttons’ patron saint. Pandolce was kneaded at home, it rose in a warm place under the covers and it was baked at home into the stove or by some friendly baker as contribution of social neighbourhood integration.

As it’s said, eating a slice of pandolce during the weeks previous Christmas it brings luck; nowadays even if pandolce remains a Christmas dessert, it’s consumed all year around and it’s one of the culinary symbols of Genoese tradition.
In Genoa and around the world
Still nowadays is a confectionary example of Ligurian tradition, typically “Boule-shaped”, a compact-dough marked out by an alcoholic  touch deriving from rhum flavour which is added to the dough. It is available in two variations: “High” obtained by  “The natural leaving” and “Low” (made of delicious shortcrust pastry), rich in candied fruits, pine nuts and sultana raisins, is well-known as Christmas dessert and popular worldwide.

In London is called “Genoa cake”.  English have always had relations with Genoa, since the Crusades  time, when “Richard the Lionheart” obtained the right of using Genoa’s "Saint George" flag onboard of his vessels, that’s why it is not rare to find Genoese pandolce in “Swinging London”.

It reached South America thanks to the Ligurian immigrants and over time the original receipt has been modified  to  fit  Argentina’s and Peru’s  traditions, here it is dressed  by white glaze  that in South America is called “Massa elástica”.
The beginnings
Preti 1851 s.r.l. - Office and Factory: Via S. Carnevale - 16010 - S. Olcese (GE) - Italy
Phone (+39)010/70.98.52
Fax (+39)010/70.92.404
Authorized capital: € 176.000,00 - Fiscal code and VAT number: 02225000997
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