It has been a wild few months! There will be a new political administration, financial markets have stabilized somewhat, and the holidays are coming. It is Corti Brothers’ hope that they will be serene and pleasant for you. We have some interesting things on offer, both as gifts and for your own personal enjoyment. After a good meal with tasty wines, life does seem better. We wish you all pleasant and serene Holidays and a forward looking 2009.
I am pleased to offer our selection of traditional and innovative Christmas breads, Panettone, from both Loison in Italy’s Veneto and Bardi from Milano. We are also offering for the first time traditional cookies “biscotteria,” baked by Loison which are normally reserved for their local customers. They are fine, butter based, with differing flavors, and a long tradition behind them.
The basis of both Loison and Bardi panettone production is the preparation of the sourdough sponge which is the same as for San Francisco’s famous sourdough bread. Then follows the creation of the butter and egg enriched dough to which selected ingredients are added. Each year, Dario Loison tries to come up with a new taste treat for the traditional panettone. 2008 is no exception.
The new panettone Loison has created for 2008 is Panettone ai Fichi, with the addition of the white Dottato fig from Calabria, the variety’s home. Known in the U.S. as Kadota, the Dottato fig is the finest for preserving. A Loison specialty is the Panettone al Torcolato, made with Fausto Maculan’s famous Torcolato wine plumping the raisins used. Then there is Panettone Noël created in 2007 with dried pears and the spices of northern Europe, more like the medieval “pane speziato” with clove and cinnamon.
Bardi panettone is our exclusive from our friends, the brothers Longo. The Bardi selection is very traditional with only a few specialites such as the hazelnut glazed panettone, the chocolate stuffed and covered one; the panettone without candied fruit, just raisins; and the traditional Verona Pandoro and Veneziana with its orange flower water scent. Panettone comes in two shapes: basso (low) and alto (high.)
With these delicious panettone, you can be certain that your holidays will be truly Italian. In fact, for the Italians, it is not Christmas without panettone!New for this year’s holiday festivities, the use of the white Calabrian Dottato fig, makes a very special panettone indeed. This is a “must taste” for this year.
Torcolato is the dried Vespaiolo grape wine produced in the Vicenza area by Fausto Maculan. These grapes are hung in nylon thread and dried until after the New Year and ferment much like Sauternes. We are friends of Fausto, and he sells us some of his panettone production. Torcolato plumps the raisins for this panettone, softening the raisins which retain some of its flavor. You really should serve it with Torcolato.
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