08 December, 2009

Panettone: Va Piano II

126C Nicholson St, Brunswick East

Update: Va Piano is now Piano Piano

Brunswick East's new high performer has added a wonderfully seasonal breakfast to its succinct menu: panettone with cinnamon ricotta, honey, some macerated fruit and a sprinkle of nuts, crowned with a plume of pear.
It's a joyous way to enjoy this traditional festive season bread, and another example of how well Melbourne embraces European customs.

A quick bit of background: panettone is of Milanese origin. The acidic dough used to make the bread is proved for several days, helping to keep it fluffy. Embedded in the dough are candied fruit, zest and raisins.

As with many ethnic products, there are panettones and then there are panettones. Shop at Enoteca Sileno on Lygon St, and you could lay out $60 or so for the best, imported brand of the domed treat. Shop at a supermarket for a much cheaper, artificially sweetened version, turned out in the supermarket bakery (probably at the same time as this year's Easter buns!). Check out Mediterranean Wholesalers for the mid-range: theirs sell from $10-$20 (Va Piano use the Dias brand).

Try your panettone with a decent prosecco, for a delightful afternoon snack, and reflect on its wonderful suitability for an Australian summer celebration, in contrast to the English Christmas pud.

What about you? What are some of your favourite Christmas-time snacks?

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