Archive for Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shop Talk: Sale item brings back taste of Italy

November 11, 2009


Julie: Saturday’s World Market ad ran an item that brings back fond childhood memories. This item is the Balocco cranberry panettone from Italy. It is on sale for $7.99. This may not seem like a sale price, but usually this Italian sweet bread goes for more than $10.

I grew up in a blue-collar ethnic neighborhood in Chicago. My mom was always looking to save a few bucks wherever she could. She shopped where she could find the best prices. Therefore, we were always eating a variety of food, and it was always good food.

Our Italian heritage was brought to life through mom’s cooking. But I have to say, one of the things my mom would splurge on during the holidays was buying panettone. It was Italian tradition. You know, like eating fish on Christmas Eve.

The funny thing is I never appreciated panettone when I was growing up. I always thought it was dry and not very sweet. But when you live in an area where certain products aren’t readily available, you start to miss these traditions. Our visits back to Chicago allow us to continue to enjoy these ethnic flavors on a somewhat regular basis.

Back in the day, the panettone was just sliced up and served along with all the other sweets on our holiday table — a nice espresso or cappuccino to go with it and that was it. So when I saw the panettone, I thought I’d look for something different in the way of using this bread. I found a recipe for Eggnog Panettone Bread Pudding on I am definitely trying this one. Maybe I can teach my mom a new recipe for this Italian holiday staple.

— Jenn Hethcoat, a mother of three and coupon expert, and Julie Anderson, a mother of two who is learning the ropes of shopping frugally, write the Shop Talk blog at


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