I am in Costabissara, in the province of Vicenza to dive into the “sweet paradise” of the Loison family, three generations who have been able to continually question themselves to keep up with the times and with tastes. Born as a small bakery oven, in 80 years, the Costabissara laboratory has been transformed into an established artisan company whose products are in demand all over the world.
Here we meet with Dario Loison and his great PANETTONE.

In your ‘VENEZIANA’ Which spices have you adopted?
From Vanilla from Madagascar (Slow Food Presidium) to the precious mix of Black Pepper from Lampong (Indonesia), Timut (Nepal) and Jamaica, from Asian turmeric to South American Tonka beans with an eye to sought after single origins of cocoa coming in particular from Cuba and Venezuela.

Loison Museum

The Museum boasts a collection of over 350 vintage postcards dedicated to Christmas seen through the eyes of children. My favorites are the three little chefs who proudly bring their delicacies to the table, including panettone, and this delightful little girl who drops a box of panettone in an elegant hatbox in the snow.

What are the distinctive qualities of a good panettone?

Softness, scent and purity of the fruit of which we have been champions for more than twenty years. We were the first ever to use the Ciaculli late mandarin, the Savona chinotto and the Calabrian fig, which is elaborated, baked and worked by hand with the addition of wild fennel, all this marrying the Slow Food world of which I have been part of for many years.

What about the ingredients?
Tradition is our main ingredient while passion is the heat that heats our ovens and our desserts, now on tables all over the world.
The Christmas holidays are coming. A must Loison on the table?
Surely the ‘black-salt’ panettone, naturally leavened, with clarified butter, Cervia salt, chocolate chips of Venezuelan origin and stuffed with a salted caramel born from a French recipe.



What a (sweet) journey…

Let me take you to Venice to taste the traditional cake Veneziana. It’s delicately soft on the palate and it’s delicious for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. It’s a mixture made of milk, eggs, flour and butter, topped with sugar and almonds.
Loison created two
new tentalizing Veneziana one with chocolate and spices, the other with apricot and spices.
From the Madagascar Vanilla (Slow Food Presidium) to the prized mix of Lampong Black Pepper (Indonesia), Timut (Nepal) and Jamaica, from the Asian turmeric to the South American Tonka beans, with an eye to Cuban and Venezuelan cocoa
o new delicacies that seem to pay homage to the Serenissima Republic, for seven centuries a crossroads of peoples, cultures and flavors.
The amazing packaging, signed “Sonia Design” showing off images of the lagoon atmosphere, of magnificent traditions and magnificent architecture, taken from ancient postcards kept at the Loison Museum.
The two veneziana will be previewed at Vinitaly, in Verona from April 15th to 18th,
at Area C Sol Agrifood stand A10.
A tasty opportunity to celebrate the 80-year anniversary
of Loison’s sweet journey.




 Colomba di Pasqua is a traditional Italian Easter yeast bread. It is shaped like a dove (colomba in Italian), the symbol of peace and resurrection. The birth of the colomba dates back to the year 572, when King Alboin, after three years of siege, captured the town of Pavia in northern Italy on Easter Eve. Evading the guards, an old baker was able to reach the king and offer a dove-shaped leavened bread. “Alboin,” he said, “I offer this symbol, as a tribute to peace, on Easter day.” The sweet scent and the convincing message persuaded the king to give a promise of peace. That’s the legend.The dove we know today has a more recent origin and, I should say, a more prosaic version of the history. In the early 1930s the Milanese company Motta specialized in panettone, a cake produced only for Christmas. Unhappy to have their machinery unused for many months, Motta decided to package a similar product to be sold during the Easter holidays.
The shape of the sweet dove was a choice dictated not only by symbolism, but also to welcome the arrival of the spring. The new cake was (and still is) a huge success. It is typically soft, fragrant outside and moist inside, naturally leavened for a whole night, then filled with a mixture of flour, sugar, eggs and candied orange. After a long rest, the dough is portioned in different sizes for an additional four hours of leavening, then covered with almonds, sugar and amaretto. Since its birth, the colomba was enriched by many variations and a variety of different icings and fillings.

After baking, it must rest at least seven hours before it is finally packaged.


So many colombe
From Loison to Fraccaro to all those of the Regina Colomba event, held in Milan a few days before Easter. I would like to mention the very young pastry chefs of Alma, the celebrated  International School of Italian Cuisine in Colorno, near Parma, where I discovered and tasted their very soft creation: the colomba with chocolate and black cherry flakes. Pleasantly  soft and spongy and intensely fragrant.
A sweet message of peace.