Panettone is a type of traditional Italian dessert that is commonly served during the Christmas period. Panettone is a kind of fluffy sweet bread made from flour, raisins and candied fruits in the shape of a dome that is usually around 15 centimetres tall.
Panettone is known to originate in Milan and there are numerous different myths that all have the common thread of its place of origin.
One of the most popular myths is that the chef for Ludovico Sforza, known as Ludovico il Moro (Ludovico the Moor), the Duke of Milan at the end of the 15th century, had accidently burnt the dessert for his Christmas banquet. His kitchen boy, Toni, suggested serving a dessert that he had made in the morning with what he had found in the pantry, which was flour, butter, eggs, citrus peel and raisins. When the Duke tasted it, he was ecstatic and demanded to know the name of the dessert. The chef answered in Milanese: L'è 'l pan del Toni
, which means "it's Toni's bread" and from thereon it was named "panettone".
However, the more probable origin for its name is that "panetto", in Italian, means small loaf of cake. By adding the suffix, "-one", it means large loaf of cake, which reflects the size of panettone.
The correct pronunciation of panettone is pah-neht-toh-neh
To pronounce panettone the right way, it is important to pronounce the vowels correctly. The most common mistake is to pronounce the "e"s as "ei" and the "o" as "ow". So, it is not pah-nei-tow-nei
. The "e" is pronounced with an "eh" sound, which is more similar to how you would pronounce a short "e" in English. The same rule applies to how you pronounce the "a" at the beginning of panettone, which is pronounced with an "ah" sound. The "o" is then pronounced like the "o" in "story".
The last difficulty when pronouncing panettone, is the double "t", which, as you can hear in the audio pronunciation, places the stress there and forces to pronounce added emphasis to those letters.
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