22 December 2009

italian eyes on you

At one of the recent gatherings that I attended, a knock-your-socks-off panettone was served.  I am not a panettone girl & usually wouldn't even be bothered to accept a serving.  This was good . . . so good that I inquired about the type and the origin of the Christmas cake.

And I was in luck!  It's a cherry panettone made by the famous Loison bakery. And wouldn't you know it? They are based in our area! Bingo! By golly, this year we are going to have panettone in this house and we are all going to like it. 

So today I did what all good Italians do at this time of year:  I headed out through the snowy slush to get a panettone or two. . . to serve, to share, to give to the neighbor, to bring to the hostess of the next gathering.  I found the little bakery without delay early this morning and was pleased to find it nearly empty at 9 am after my friend warned of her 45 minute wait last week.

And then. . . just when I'm having that feeling of successfully navigating this experience & feeling very full of myself and my world famous panettone,  I scan the shelves and don't see it.  I look again and again. . . and I find all types of panettoni and pandori cakes:  chocolate, lemon, almond, cream, prosecco.   I feel the eyes on me.  Have you ever had the Italian eyes on you?   Defeated, I ask for a panettone di ciliegie.

She was kind.  They aren't always kind.  Sometimes they pretend to completely misunderstand or maybe they really do completely misunderstand.  Maybe the Italian I have in my mind and what comes out of my mouth are not the same.  She was kind.

Eccolo!  Panettone all'Amarena. (with a smile)
There it is.  Cherry Panettone.  (Right on the shelf I scanned several times . . . right there with it's precise word for sour black cherry that I had never before encountered: amarena!)

Just then my ego deflated and I was reminded of just how much I don't know.

I bought four cakes.


  1. i love panettone. and a sour cherry one sounds outrageous! i´m glad you found it! enjoy!

  2. Oh, D, I totally relate! I felt the same for so many years, in the uk, in Rome, here ... but now, with age, I find that I'm (more) confident: I know that I can always learn something new! And you know, in this part of Italy, all you can get here are regular panettoni, no flavors. Unheard of. If you were to ask for a panettone all'amarena here, they'd probably think you were from Mars. I do wish we could have a slice together, I love panettone ... though no more than once a year:)!