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The first historical document that certifies “Ligurian pandolce” dates back to Renaissance’s splendour, when Genoa was a powerful maritime Republic.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”.