A locally-proclaimed “hidden gem”, CANOVA Pasticceria’s headquarters is tucked deep in a North Edmonton industrial area. Inside, owners Kris Owczarek and Carla Roppo-Owczarek are in full production of CANOVA’s signature Panettone. The husband-wife duo make up to 200 loaves daily using old-world baking techniques in a 36-hour, 8-step process developed in part from Kris’ time training with artisan bakers in Milan, Italy – Panettone’s birthplace.
“Italians live for the holiday season but every kid has memories of eating a slice of bone-dry Panettone at Nonna’s house,” Roppo-Owczarek says with a chuckle, “Kris and I worked tirelessly to take all the amazing traits, flavours and textures from the best Panettones we’ve had over the years and created a soft, tender and aromatic version Albertans have fallen in love with. We are humbled knowing one of our favourite family traditions will be shared at holiday events and gatherings throughout Canada this year.”
In Fall 2014 – after 18 months of testing, Kris perfected the recipe for a natural yeast mother dough (nicknamed “Baby Tony”) made from fermented raisins as the starter of each batch. The wild yeasts produce a constant stream of bubbles giving CANOVA’s Panettone its characteristic loft. Flour, egg yolks, butter and candied citrus peel are carefully combined and infused with passion stemming from love of food, family and tradition.
“The way our dough changes during each phase in creating such a mouthwatering product is so beautiful to watch and feel” says Roppo-Owcarek, “during its final stages of proofing before a trip to our ovens, it’s so smooth and satiny, like a handmade dress from the purest of silks.”
This year, fans of the sweet bread enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in many countries including France, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Germany and even Switzerland, will have a chance to “taste the tradition”.
CANOVA Pasticceria’s signature Panettone hits the shelves at locations across Canada including:
- Select Safeway, and Sobey’s locations in BC, AB, SK, MB and ON
- Loblaws City Market in Edmonton
- Sunterra Market in Edmonton and Calgary
- The Italian Store – Scarpones in Calgary
- In Italy, Panettone is enjoyed with wine. Click here for pairing suggestions by Drink With Me’s Shelley Boettcher
- CANOVA Pasticceria imports the luxurious Panettone wrapping paper from Italy each year
- 1,500 lbs of butter, 900 lbs of raisins, 550lbs of citrus peel will be used to make 5,000 loaves of Panettone at CANOVA Pasticceria’s bakery this year.
- Day-old Panettone makes delicious french toast, bread pudding and crostinis for a holiday cheeseboard.