Traditional Italian Christmas Sweets & Cakes
by Giuseppe Morvillo
by Giuseppe Morvillo
Italy’s Famous and Traditional Christmas Sweets
Every year many of us look forward to taking celebrating the Christmas Holidays with Family, Friends and loved ones and here in Italy not only is the quality time one of the most important factors of this season, but of course the Traditional Christmas Food and Sweets are next in line.
Each region has their own types of Christmas Sweets and Cakes that they enjoy during this festive season, from Panettone in Milan and Pizzelle in Abruzzo, to Stuffoli in Naples and Cannoli in Sicily and more. In this article we have put together a complete christmas food guide walking you through the tasty Christmas traditions of Italy’s regions.
Panettone is known to be the traditional Christmas cake in the city of Milan, however is also enjoyed throughout the whole of Italy. This sweet and soft dessert traditionally includes dried cadied fruits inside, however if making your own or buying in a shop you will find many different variations of flavours and fillings. Panettone is also a popular gift to give to family and friends during the Christmas season and is usually enjoyed throughout the whole month of December.
This Traditional Italian Nougat is often made and eaten around the Christmas Season and is also another popular gift to purchase for the holidays. The recipe includes a mixture of Honey, Sugar, Whipped Egg Whites and Toasted Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios, all held together by tasty and delicate sheets of wafer paper. This Christmas treat is enjoyed throughout the whole of Italy.
This rich and colourful dessert is a must have to enjoy at the end of a traditional Neopolitan Christmas meal. Struffoli are made of little fried dough balls dipped generously in honey, they often come in a variety of forms such as the shape of a pyramid or wreath, and finally sprinkled with colourful diavolilli, a sweet and colourful italian decoration.
Verona’s answer to Milan’s Panettone, Pandoro, literally meaning ‘golden bread’, is a rich and light cake traditionally sprinkled with endless icing sugar to give it it’s iconic white, snow like effect. The difference between Pandoro and Panettone is that it is yeast-risen and never contains candied fruit inside. This delicious sweet and airy Christmas treat originates from the Northern Italian town of Verona, the city made famous by the story of Romeo and Juliet.
These delicous Christmas sweets are made with dried figs, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, lemon, cinnamon, vanilla and honey offering all of the flavours of Sicily in just one bite. Buccellati are the most popular desserts in Sicily during the Christmas Season and you will never find one the same as each family has their own recipe that has been handed down by generations and ingredients often vary from each province. However, the ingredients that always remain the same are, Sicilian figs that have been dried in the summer sun and almonds, another classic local product. These sweets are also given as gifts to family and friends during the holiday.