400 Gradi Christmas Panettone

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In celebration of Fine Food Week in Melbourne, we were lucky enough to be invited to sample the launch of the one-of-a-kind, Gradi Christmas Panettone (Ancient Grain), a collaboration between Gradi’s pizza legend Johnny di Francesco with Claudio Grotti from the Masters of Panettone (Maestri Del Lievito Madre) in Parma, Italy to create something truly unique. Panettone is a quintessential Italian Christmas dessert, resembling a large sweet loaf with candied fruits to be shared amongst the entire family during the festive season. This latest collaboration will revolutionise the concept of “panettone” so read on to find out why! For our review of the restaurant Gradi itself, check out: Gradi Crown.

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Johnny di Francesco (right) and Claudio Grotti (left)

Gradi’s classic panettone is what panettone is supposed to taste like – nothing like the supermarket variety, which tastes like sugary dry bread. In fact, this was like stepping into Europe. It was the Italian version of a praline brioche from Lyon, but this time, with pockets of candied fruit. Each bite of candied oranges was a welcome twist, bringing a denser, zesty zing to an otherwise light and fluffy panettone. You don’t expect the ‘crust’ of the bread to be even more special that the fluffy bread inside, but somehow it is caramelised and an extra layer of texture.


The delicious, moist interior

Now for the real star of the show. The innovative, brand new panettone diverts from the use of candied fruits but instead, incorporates Italian ancient grains. Rescued from the limitations of World War II, the world should be grateful for the re-cultivation of these grains because they did wonders for this panettone. So we thought the classic panettone would be the highlight of our day… until we tried this. The grains added a deep complexity to the panettone that is honestly indescribable. It was a mellower bread, flatter, and lower in gluten, featuring a subtle source of sweetness from the hints of white chocolate, balanced out with a perfectly light level of moisture. I wanted every bite to keep going but then there was none left!

LUCKILY NOW we are just eagerly awaiting December 1st, when Gradi Group will begin presenting the ancient grains panettone to the world. BUT be quick because they will only be making a limited number and selling ONLY in their stores, which you can find below:


2wofatgirls would like to thank 400 Gradi for the invitation to dine – these opinions are strictly unbiased and were influenced in no way by the collaboration

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