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PanettoneBy Anthony Parente
Just like the variations of panettone you can get you will find that there are different reasons for how this Milanese dessert got its name. The one that I find most interesting is a legend that dates back to the 15th century. Ughetto, who was a nobleman and falconer, would sit under a tree as he waited for his falcons to return. The tree was near a poor baker's shop whose owner was Toni and he had a beautiful daughter named Adalgisa. Ughetto immediately fell in love with her. Ughetto's family would not allow him to marry a lowly woman, so one day he decided to disguise himself as a peasant and seek work at the baker's shop for free. As Christmas was nearing Ughetto wanted to create a dessert fitting for the season. He took the baker's bread mix and added items he was accustomed to as a nobleman and created a sweet bread infused with candied fruits and raisins. When word got out of this sweet bread the baker became extremely successful. Ughetto removed his disguise and revealed himself to Adalgisa asking Toni for his daughter's hand in marriage. The duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza arranged the wedding for the love birds in which Leonardo da Vinci was even in attendance. The duke insisted the cake like bread be served at the wedding and it became known as Pan de Toni (Toni's bread).
This is not part of the legend, but who knows maybe this sweet bread was the inspiration that Da Vinci used in creating his masterpieces.
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