Daniel Salazar, former Peru Country Manager, offers the top three traditions in Peru on Christmas. This is #2: Panettone on Christmas.
#2. Peruvians love their Panettone on Christmas:
For some reason, Peruvians love to eat certain foods during particular times of the year or holidays. We will talk about that later. All you need to know is that Peruvians love to eat panettone on Christmas. Just as with fireworks, during the holiday season, markets and shops start displaying huge piles of panettone boxes, and they sell out pretty quickly.
What is panettone anyway?
Panettone is sweet cake/bread shaped like a cupula. It usually comes with raisins and dried fruit, and sometimes even chocolate pieces. Panettone was created in Milan, and so the story goes that Italian immigrants brought panettone to Peru. Peruvians suppose that Italians eat panettone for Christmas too, but I cannot assure you that all Italians do that. Read more about the origins of Panettone here.
What’s so crazy about panettone?
This is a series about unusual things Peruvians do during Christmas. The reason behind the “craziness” is simple: fat and sugar. The panettone itself is very greasy and sugary. But then Peruvians love also to spread butter on their slice of panettone!
Experts say that eating a small piece of panettone the size of a roll equals to eating six rolls spread with butter and jelly.
As if that wasn’t enough, Peruvians usually accompany panettone with soda or hot chocolate. On top of that, they not only have one slice but many. And that is not the only thing they eat, as panettone is considered a side dish, so you would normally have your whole meal and the panettone slices. For some reason, Peruvians’ hunger and stomach expand exponentially during the holiday season, and they overeat.
The grease and sugar overdose are so severe that public health organizations have started campaigns to warn about the danger of over-eating panettone during the holiday season.
Everything is good in moderation
Still, panettone is delicious. Most of our American friends who tried it for the first time loved it. Kids also love it, so volunteers usually take panettone to Sagrada Familia. We share panettone with hundreds of kids with huge smiles on their faces. If panettone were invented so that we could get a smile from them during the holiday season, it would be worth it.