Pandoro is the typical dessert of Verona, which is eaten especially during the Christmas time. Together with the Panettone, which is the typical cake of Milan, it is one of the most typical Christmas sweets in Italy. The dough is soft, has a golden color, due to the presence of the eggs, and smells of vanilla.
It has a particular shape: it is like a frustum with an 8 pointed star section.
Flour, sugar, eggs, butter, cocoa butter and mother yeast are the main ingredients. The preparation technique is complex and involves many long processing steps.
Pandoro is usually served dusted with vanilla scented icing sugar, to resemble the snowy peaks of the Italian Alps during Christmas time.
The origins of the recipe are to be found in ancient Rome. Pandoro is first mentioned in a not famous document dating back to the first century AD, at the time of Pliny the Elder. It is written that a chef named Vergilius Stefanus Senex prepared a ” panis ” with flowers of flour, butter and oil.
The birth of the modern recipe, at least as we understand it today, dates back to the nineteenth century, as an evolution of “nadalin”, a sweet cake of Verona invented in the thirteenth century to celebrate the first Christmas in Verona under the Scala family.
The Nadalin, despite having similar ingredient, is less buttery and fragrant, but more compact and sweet. Also the shape is different: while Pandoro has a regular star shape and it is very high, the Nadalin is much lower and does not have a definite shape.
A lot of people from Verona prefer eating Nadalin instead of Pandoro because Pandoro is now a national cake, while Nadalin is the expression of the origins and traditions of Verona.
In 1894, Domenico Melegatti, deposited a patent for the production of Pndoro with the characteristic form we have now. This form has been invented from Angelo Dall’Oca Bianca, an impressionist painter.