Panettone (Image: guanabarino / Pixabay)

There are two cakes associated with the holiday season that are made with fruits and nuts. One is the much-maligned — and to devotees of the confection (yo!) under-appreciated — fruit cake. The other is panettone, that curious cross between a cake and a bread that hails from Italy. Judging from the quantity of panettones that begin showing up in supermarkets this time of year and the comparative paucity of fruitcakes, I’m guessing it’s far more popular.

Another clue is the news that the inaugural New York Panettone Festival will be held in Long Island City this year. The event will run from Dec. 9 through Dec. 12 and then again from the 16th to the 19th on The Piazza at Hunter’s Point South Park, 5241 Center Boulevard.

The purpose of the event, according to the “About” page on its website “is to redefine the culinary and cultural experience of Panettone and offer attendees the opportunity to taste and learn about the countless excellences that have made this product one of the highest expressions of Italian Pastry.” Samples of versions of panettone made with dark chocolate and pear and caramel and pistachios will be available for tasting

The festival is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

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