Sweet Bread of Italy

Genoa's quintessential pastry-shop specialty—particularly between Christmas and Twelfth Night—is pandolce.

Old-Fashioned Genoese Sweet Bread

Although light, airy adaptations of this sweet are now in vogue, this recipe from Marco and Maurizio Profumo's Pasticceria Villa di Profumo, a pastry shop on Genoa's famed via Garibaldi, produces this more traditional dense and crumbly version. See the recipe for Old-Fashioned Genoese Sweet Bread »Christopher Hirsheimer

Genoa's quintessential pastry-shop specialty—particularly between Christmas and Twelfth Night—is pandolce, a traditional sweet bread originally designed as a showpiece for exotic imported fruits, nuts, and spices. In its original version, it's drier, less risen, and a little more crumbly than panettone, its brioche-like Milanese cousin. Like panettone, though, it is usually store-bought rather homemade—and usually packaged in beautiful ribbon-tied boxes. Pandolce is as much a part of Italian holiday celebrations as fruitcake is in America.