Panettone (pronounced /ˌpænəˈtoʊni/, Italian: [panetˈtoːne]) is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan (in Milanese dialect of theLombard language it is called paneton /paneˈtuŋ/), usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Italy, southeastern France,Spain, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Malta, Albania, Germany andSwitzerland, and is one of the symbols of the city of Milan. In recent years it has become a popular addition to the Christmas table in theUnited Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia. In South America, especially in Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia,Bolivia, and Chile, and It is a tradition to eat it on the 6th of January each year, Other names for the bread are roscón de reyes/bolo rei (King cake).
It has a cupola shape, which extends from a cylindrical base and is usually about 12–15 cm high for a panettone weighing 1 kg. Other bases may be used, such as an octagon, or a frustum with star section shape more common to pandoro. It is made during a long process that involves the curing of the dough, which is acidic, similar to sourdough. The proofing process alone takes several days, giving the cake its distinctive fluffy characteristics. It contains candied orange, citron, and lemon zest, as well as raisins, which are added dry and not soaked. Many other variations are available such as plain or with chocolate. It is served in slices, vertically cut, accompanied with sweet hot beverages or a sweet wine, such as Asti or Moscato d’Asti. In some regions of Italy, it is served with crema di mascarpone, a cream made from mascarpone, eggs, sometimes dried or candied fruits, and typically a sweet liqueur such as amaretto; if mascarpone cheese is unavailable, zabaione is sometimes used as a substitute.