Im not much of a carbohydrate fan, let alone a fan of sweets, but my walk to work gives me access to a number of places making fresh panettone (think globally, bake locally!) and I have a full-fledged tasting laboratory (a.k.a. office) available with at least a bakers dozen open mouths at any given time, so as a public service Ill post the impressions (both personal and collective).
First out of the oven was Acme, and I picked up one of their larger sized panettones on my customary Friday end-around via the FB jonesing for a chewy, intense sourdough cheese croissant (which Acme appears to have trashed). I dont recall the weight or price, but it was a typical Acme bargain. Im not sure if I personally sampled Acmes panettone last year, but the one last Friday was more fruit-laden and thankfully less brioche-y than I thought I remembered from the past. There were no nuts in evidence (nuts). Ace Taster Paula, a loose vegetarian with taste buds calibrated to pastry, loved the anisette flavor infusing the bread.
Today I picked one up from Victoria Pastry, who also has had them at the ready for several days. It was $8.75 for a very large, squat 2-pounder with a big crown. (Muffin tops! she shouted, but no, it wasnt crunchy.) Victorias panettone seems at once moister and airier than Acmes. There is not much fruit in evidence other than a copious amount of raisins, and some candied lemon(?) rind but a strong candied citrus flavor permeates the bread. There was a cluster of pine nut on top. I thought the citrus infused flavor was a bit overpowering, but Ace Taster thought not. She also commented on the brioche quality of the bread. The other taster-elves are still at work on it, but it looks to be mostly gone by noon.
Next up will probably be Stella Pastrys version. I stopped by this morning just as the early girl (yes, she could be called a tomato) was opening up. Maybe tomorrow , she said. I know were definitely making them this week. I have yet to check Ligurias timetable (theyll take some planning, as they open later than I am in the neighborhood).
Does anybody know if the brioche place next to Hustler will be making panettone?
Acme is at the Ferry Building, and open earlier than their published schedule of 8:00 AM.
Victoria Pastry is at 1362 Stockton St., corner of Vallejo, and opens at 7:00 AM.