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  • Pandolce Genovese

    By Anthony Parente

    Pandolce Genovese (u pandùce in Genoese dialect) is a sweet bread typically made during Christmas and other festive occasions, but over the centuries it has become a dessert that can be enjoyed anytime. This culinary delight filed with candied fruits and nuts is native to the town of Genoa and embodies the flavors and traditions of the Ligurian region.

    Legend tells us that in the 16th Century the Doge of Genoa, Andrea Doria, had a competition between pastry chefs to create a dessert that represented the wealth and magnificence of Genoa. In addition, the recipe needed to be nutritious, durable, and can hold up to long sea voyages. From the competition, pandolce was created and for centuries pandolce has made its appearance on the table of Genoese families every Christmas.

    According to tradition the sweet bread is brought to the table on Christmas by the youngest in the house who places a laurel sprig in the middle, which represents well-being and fortune. The eldest cuts the pandolce setting aside a slice for the poor and one to be kept for the feast of San Biagio (Saint Blaise) on February 3rd.

    Unlike panettone, pandolce is not as fluffy and buttery. This sweet bread can be made with yeast, which is called pandolce alto. This is the traditional version and takes several hours for the dough to rise. You can also make it with baking powder instead of yeast and this version is referred to as pandolce basso and takes less time to prepare. Below I have included a video recipe for both versions of pandolce.

    Pandolce Genovese Basso
    Pandolce Genovese Alto

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