As a full-blooded Italian, I have several important duties:

  • Fuss over the pronunciation of “mozzarella.”
  • Teach people to twirl their spaghetti without a spoon.
  • Eat all the panettone so nobody else has to.

That last one is a bit of a chore. Every holiday season, thousands upon millions of boxes of pannettone invade grocery stores, bakeries, and office break rooms across the country. There they rest for quite some time, because panettone is usually not that good.

In this beautifully-written article titled “Save us From Panettone – The Festive Delicacy Nobody Likes,” author Julie Bindel describes pannettone as a “part-bread, part-cake monstrosity” that tastes like “Gandhi’s flip-flop after three months in the desert.” I’ve contacted her to write reviews for Junk Banter.

I have to admit that I’m with Julie (for the most part). I force-eat several pieces of pannettone each holiday season. Nobody in my family can ever pinpoint the exact moment it entered our house, but it always finds its way in. And we slowly chip away at it, no one particularly enjoying it. Toasting and buttering it helps, as does feeding it to the birds. But we Italians do not like to waste food, and I fear that the ghost of Tony Soprano will beat me with a rolled up newspaper if I neglect my duties as an Italian.

Trader Joe's Gelato Filled Pannettone

Trader Joe’s Gelato Filled Pannettone

Enter Trader Joe’s Gelato Filled Pannettone. Just like that – with one massive glob of gelato – I am excited to eat pannettone again. It’s the only way to get to the gelato, after all.

Trader Joe’s Gelato Filled Pannettone features a mini pannettone that was baked all the way out there in Italy, shipped to the United States, hollowed out, stuffed with gelato, and then decorated with chocolate chips.

All of this just to stomach a piece of panettone.

Trader Joe's Gelato Filled Pannettone

Oh, Mamma Mia…

I mean this lovingly, but…

Vaffanculo, Trader Giotto.
(Translation: “Go Fuck Yourself, Trader Joe.”)

You managed to turn panettone into something amazing. The biggest issue with a traditional panettone is dryness. Yeah, the delicious gelato tucked inside solves that problem in a hurry.

And just look at how much gelato there is…

Trader Joe's Gelato Filled Panettone

The gelato is rich, creamy, and bursting with genuine vanilla flavor. It has both vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds, and they go a long way to providing massive flavor. The gelato covers so much real estate that every bite of panettone can and will contain gelato.

Now let’s talk about the panettone itself – it’s actually one of the better ones I’ve had in recent memory. There are lots of huge raisins in here, one of the signature qualities of panettone. The bread-cake monstrosity is fluffy and flavored with candied orange peel. This citrusy flavor is a refreshing addition, especially when paired with the vanilla bean gelato. Molto bene!

Chocolate chips? Yeah sure. They’re semi-sweet chocolate and they make for one really tasty bite on each half of the mini pannetone. It would have been fun to have some of these mini chocolate chips scattered throughout the center of the gelato, but that’s okay. I really enjoyed this no matter how you slice it (you should slice it down the middle).

Trader Joe is one glorious bastardo, and this pannetone is a must-buy this holiday season.

Getting Beatdown with a Rolled-up Newspaper Rating: 0 out of 10
Gandhi’s Flip Flops Rating
: 2 out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10

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