Well, I never heard of the traditional Italian Easter bread called La Colomba, but here it sits on my counter, stunningly wrapped for Easter.
Victoria Pastry had their supply shipped in from Italy and there are only a few left, if this interests anyone. I served it to guests with coffee and it was wildly popular.
Sort of on the idea of Panettone I was expecting it might be stale like most imported Panettone, but it was fresh and extremely tasty. Everyone thought it tasted of some sort of alcohol, but none was listed on the ingredients. Just a rich tasty sweet bread. There are four kinds. I bought the chocolate. Its $14.50 and, IMO, worth every penny.
Searching the internet I found the Colomba is a sweet, eggy, yeasted bread. It is like panettone, but has candied orange peel instead of raisins. It is usually topped with sugared and sliced almond and shaped like a dove. Columba in Italian means dove, the symbol of peace and an appropriate finish to Easter dinner.
The chocolate version I had just had sugar on top with a thin layer of chocolate and some chocolate bits in the batter with the orange peel. Yum.
Victoria also imported Perugina dark chocolate and milk chocolate Easter eggs wrapped in pastel pink, purple and yellow paper. They also have their own hand decorated chocolate eggs.
Any other good Easter breads in the Bay area? For my Polish background, there's the Easter babka which is non existent in this area. I don't see those Greek sweetbreads anymore either, the ones with the dyed eggs baked in the center.
Here's a link to the background of the bread and an unwrapped picture. The picture below is the beutiful wrapping (but it's even prettier at Victoria pastry).