Italian Easter Tradition Marks Sign of Spring – CANOVA Pasticceria is in full production of their eagerly anticipated version of Colomba di Pasqua, an Italian sweet bread which originated in Milan, Italy. The Edmonton-based family-run business proudly announce Colomba di Pasqua’s place on shelves in Safeway and Sobeys locations across Canada. Also known as the counterpart to Christmas Panettone, Colomba di Pasqua is made using old-world baking techniques in a 36-hour, 8-step process developed in part from time training with artisan bakers in Milan.

“Easter season is really special to Italians and our culture,” says owner Carla Roppo-Owczarek, “After an amazing Christmas season making our signature Panettone, my husband Kris and I decided Canadians were ready to try our version of the sweet, tender, dove-shaped bread we always have at our celebration table.”

A natural yeast starter and days of kneading and proofing the dough gives CANOVA’s Colomba its lift and lightness. Candied orange peel and raisins are added to impart the sweet bread with classic flavours, then each fragrant loaf is topped with a crunchy meringue, slivered almonds and pearl sugar.

For Canadians, it’ll be easier to “taste the tradition” this year. “We’re so proud to partner with Canada Safeway and Sobeys who will carry our Colomba from coast-to-coast, exclusively.” says, Roppo-Owczarek.

CANOVA will produce and wrap 5,000 loaves of Colomba di Pasqua in a yellow cloth satchel imported from Italy. Available while supplies last.

Fast facts and tips
    • In Italy, Colomba di Pasqua is enjoyed with sweet wines and Prosecco.
    • Traditionally, Easter lunch in Italy ends with Colomba di Pasqua but is now enjoyed at gatherings in weeks leading up to Holy week.
    • Day-old Colomba di Pasqua makes delicious french toast, bread pudding and even croutons.
    • A chocolate Colomba di Pasqua wrapped in a lavender cloth satchel imported from Italy will be available in limited quantities at CANOVA’s retail outlet in Edmonton and by mail order.

Edmonton-based husband-wife duo Kris Owczarek & Carla Roppo-Owczarek have been making hand dipped biscotti and Gemelli fruit and nut bars under the De Fazio Gourmet brand since 2012. Upon re-branding to CANOVA Pasticceria in 2016, the Owczareks expanded their product line to include artisan European pasties including, Cornetti (Nutella, Pistachio and vanilla cream), sweet and savoury Danishes, banana and pumpkin loaves and Amaretti cookies. Nestled in an nondescript warehouse space in Edmonton’s Northside, this “hidden gem” provides wholesale baked goods to cafes, cafeterias and boutiques to clients including Alberta Health Services, NAIT, and Sorrentino’s Cafe locations. In addition to owning and operating a small business, the couple are kept busy by three young sons, Thomas, 9 and twins Adam and Benjamin, 7.