Christmas trends

Panettone is more and more the top of the bill, with starred and solidarity versions

Santa Claus Panettone by Alessandro Dalmasso.


More intimate festivities with a reduction in consumption, compensated by an orientation towards quality products. This is the trend that emerges from the Christmas report by Sigep Observatory, which met Italian pastry chefs Iginio Massari, Roberto Rinaldini, Sal De Riso, Sonia Balacchi and Alessandro Dalmasso.
Iginio Massari is the president of the APEI association (Pastry Ambassadors of Italian Excellence) underlines that, despite the mouth-watering pistachio and chocolate proposals available in his stores, 70% of customers choose the simplicity and serenity of the classic Panettone. 

Iginio Massari.
Panettone by Iginio Massari. Ph Fausto Morabito.


Roberto Rinaldini, member of Relais Dessert International, is counting on collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Enrico Bartolini to turn one of his most popular desserts into panettone form. In addition to taste, he has rediscovered kindness of heart with the Rise Together Foundation and his solidarity panettone to help children and young people in need of treatment or therapy.


For Salvatore De Riso, president of AMPI association (Accademia Maestri Pasticceri Italiani), Christmas is the symbol of traditions par excellence. That is why Campania’s specialities are still an absolute must, such as struffoli, roccocò, and mostaccioli. Of course, there is no shortage of the most famous leavened goods with no less than sixteen panettone versions. The most precious is the one rolled in gold; the best loved is the limoncello version with all the citrus flavours of the Amalfi Coast.



The new panettone suggestions by Alessandro Dalmasso, president of the Italian Club Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie and author of “The great mignon pâtisserie” (Chiriotti Editori), speak of the typicality of his land with Pangianduja and Panettone Piemontese. He also offers a rich assortment of Christmas-themed mignons, beautiful to see and taste, and designed to enchant the little ones.


According to Sonia Balacchi, the first Pastry Queen in 2012, there is no Christmas table without panettone: classic, chocolate, with citrus aromas, spices and seasonal fruit. And for this festive season, she is offering the the version with gelato, explaining that she prefers natural raw materials to produce something that is unique, just as unique as sharing it at home with those we love.


The Christmas tradition also includes a leading role for chocolate. Iginio Massari is offering variations among dark, milk, triple-chocolate, pistachio and coffee creams, and pistachio, hazelnut and almond pralines. Roberto Rinaldini suggests gianduia nougat with hazelnuts and candied orange peel, or honey nougat with almonds, pistachios and cranberries and also offers a hint of savoury gourmet with salted chocolates with microspheres of gorgonzola, pecorino, stracchino and basil or goat’s cheese and pistachio. Still on the subject of evergreens, for Sonia Balacchi the most popular include three-dimensional reinterpretations of chocolate Christmas trees. Last but not least, Salvatore De Riso is proposing chocolate horns, coral red as per tradition, available in two sizes: a small and large version for a centrepiece of good wishes.

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