We went in knowing the maker of the product ranked first as the best traditional panettone of Italy in the competition “Panettone Day”. No, we’re not in Milan, where we held the competition between 150 pastry chefs from all over Italy last September 17, but in the deep south of Puglia, in Specchia in the lower Salento (https://www.cittameridiane.it/en/in-specchia-for-a-jump-in-time/).
In Specchia the best traditional panettone of Italy
Who welcomes us, in his realm of delights and sins of sweet and savory throat not surprisingly called Le Mille Voglie, is the pastry chef Giuseppe Zippo that, not content with having won the award for best panettone in Milan, has reconfirmed the position winning also the competition “Una Mole di Panettoni” held on November 20 in Turin.
The first question, therefore, can only be this: how do you feel an Apulian, a Salentino, to be rewarded for proposing the best panettone just in Milan, where this traditional dessert was born more than 500 years ago? Giuseppe answers me still genuinely excited: “At first I was in disbelief, then have taken over contentment and pride”.
And we think it’s really a great satisfaction for a southern pastry chef who like many others went for experiences around the world and to Italy, from south to north, and then chose to return home, in his beautiful town, Specchia, where he opened with his wife Federica his charming reality.
But that’s not all. Chatting discover that Giuseppe loved “mess” as a child and that his mother, who worked in the fields all day, often sent him to the shop from a friend who had a bakery. “I was restless – he adds – my father worked in Switzerland, my mother was out all day, and the only way to keep me busy after school was to learn that job that would become my”. In fact, after high school, the young Zippo decided to attend the hotel management school and then he devoted himself to various specialized courses in pastry.
But the real news is another: when it reaches voice that will go on sale the bakery where he worked as a boy, that of the family of his friend, decides to buy it.
So it was founded in 2003 Le Mille Voglie, where Pastry Chef Giuseppe today in his new headquarters, a stone’s throw from the historic center with a large, modern room and an outdoor garden, offers the best Salento pastries like mustazzolo, a cookie pastry with chocolate, flavored with cloves and cinnamon then wrapped by a layer of dark chocolate. With roots firmly in the tradition, but with an eye to innovation and experimentation the chef proposes delicious variants: with Nutella filling, white chocolate, pistachio cream or jam with berries. Even for pasticciotto, which inevitable opens each Salentine morning along with coffee and cappuccino, Giuseppe offers next to classic with custard, variants with pastry cream, chocolate cream, pistachio cream, chocolate cream, and cottage cheese and pear.
There is a Bari saying that means taking a taste for something and that condenses all with the phrase “lick the tooth”. Well Giuseppe “licked the tooth” and took us right taste to win! In fact a few days before we went to find him took the first place at SIGEP – International Exhibition of ice cream and pastry in Rimini as approval of the public part of the “Best Sweet Debic Italian Style 2016” with “The Black Pearl”, a dessert dedicated to Salento and at three plants that dominate its campaigns: the olive, fig and almond trees, the tree protagonist of the coat of arms of Specchia. While he shows it to us, he describes it: is a cake with a shortbread basic dark symbolizing the earth, while the olive bark is represented by the almonds and the olives are sweet in brine with water and sugar. The heart is the panna cotta with sweet olives with a layer of panettone always with olives, dried figs jam, almonds dacquoise and jelly sweet olives.
At this time the saliva is overproduction but the chef think about it to suit our taste buds making the best of his better production. And while tasting think: thank God Specchia is so far away from home!
But we took a souvenir with us: the greedy cadeaux by Giuseppe, the famous panettone that has crushed everyone else in Milan and that the pastry Le Mille Voglie keeps sending around Italy and Europe. On the day of our visit sixty pieces were sent to France and from the start of production they were packed as many as 15,000!
Pasticceria Le Mille Voglie
Via Roma, Specchia LE
Info: +39 0833 536200 – +39 328 8643481