A Sweet Story, Sicilian Style: Fiasconaro Panettone & Spreads for the Holidays

In the shadows of the Modonie Mountains, the small beautiful village of Castelbuono stands in the valley. The town took its name from the 14th century landmark “Castello Del Buon Aere” or “Castle of the Good Air”. Castelbuono, is part of the province of Palermo, Sicily.

Sixty years ago an artisan named Mario Fiasconaro mastered the craft of making delectable homemade ice creams. With the bounty of the land at his disposal he crafted indulgent rich flavors which were widely sought after throughout Castelbuono.  While this would be hardly even notable in today’s day and age Signore Fiasconaro’s success was nothing short of miraculous as this was 1953 long before the widespread availability of refrigeration.  The magic ingredient in Fiasconaro’s much heralded confection – SNOW!

Mario used freshly collected snow as the base of his incredible hand-made ice creams. He became known far and wide as his ice cream was legendary.  Folks traveled to get a taste of Fiasconaro’s snow-made ice cream.  Little did Mario know at the time that his passion would grow to include world renown pastries, chocolate and other sweet Sicilian indulgences; it would also be the building block of a family business that would come to include his three sons, Fausto, Martino and Nicola who would grow the Fiasconaro name to be recognized as a world class pasticceria seeped in artistry and tradition. 

The classic Fiasconaro panettone is an object of beauty to behold.  It is one of those gifts you are both proud to give as well as receive.  The dough rises slowly over 36 hours to lock in the flavor and ensure proper texture of the panettone. Meticulously baked with sweet, fragrant, locally-sourced ingredients such as pistachios grown in the fields near Mt. Etna or Sicilian-grown, bittersweet Avola almonds, these panettone deliver moist, flavorful sumptuous bites that call for you to linger longer around the holiday table, not to mention that they are simply stunning in their traditional, colorful, craft-paper packaging.

As if panettone perfection could not be a worthy enough goal, Nicola Fiasconaro brought the family recipes for pistacchio, almond and coffee crème to market and we could not help ourselves but to bring these over to the “New World” too. Throw a dollop over your panetonne, sliced berries or even over straight up over vanilla ice cream.

Last summer when Bruce Springsteen played in Milan the Fiasconaro Brothers had the Boss’s beloved Fender guitar replicated and hand-decorated entirely in Fiasconaro signature chocolate.  The Boss praised the work of Nicola, who is known throughout the world as the “Ambassador of Sweet Sicilian Excellence”, paying a visit to thank him personally for the sweet and thoughtful gift.

Fiasconaro’s panetonne and crèmes are extra-ordinary.  They belong on your holiday table.  Whether you buy it to share in your own house or bring it as a treat to those hosting; you, and they, will be delighted.

Once again Fairway brings true artistry to enhance your holiday enjoyment.  Time with family and friends around home and hearth filled with world-class flavors.

 

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