Why buy a handcrafted dove?

by Redazione Fine Taste

From a confectionery point of view, without taking anything away from the hundreds of delicious local specialities, Easter is synonymous with dove.

On the market, both online and offline, there are an infinite number of proposals and prices, often with large fluctuations, which create an effect of confusion and confusion due to the presence of industrial products, medium quality artisan products and high standing artisan products. and of great refinement.

If there is no doubt that in recent years consumer taste is rewarding everything that is artisanal, or presumed to be artisanal, how do you recognize an excellent Easter dove? What characteristics should it have? What ingredients? At what price?

The price

Let's start with the price , which often penalizes products of true excellence in favor of poorer products (and which, paradoxically, have a less convenient quality/price ratio!).

Far be it from us to demonize supermarket or medium-level doves, on the contrary, it is right that you can choose based on your preferences, availability, occasions and occasions.

There is no such thing as a high quality artisanal dove that is "cheap", its price can be 10/12 times that of an industrial one; therefore, it is essential to recognize if and when it is really worth it.

Very often the adjective "artisan" is used inappropriately: defining a product as "artisan" does not mean that it is necessarily tastier, healthier or with better ingredients; On the contrary.

The production specification

At a regulatory level, the colomba is a dessert protected by a production specification: «The name colomba is reserved for the soft baked confectionery product, obtained by natural fermentation from sourdough, with an irregular oval shape, a soft structure with elongated honeycombs, with top icing and a decoration made up of granulated sugar and at least two percent almonds". Those with a sweet tooth will surely have recognized the same basic ingredients of the panettone dough such as flour, sugar, eggs, butter and sourdough and the same long hours of leavening. The colomba, in its traditional version, is filled only with candied fruit and icing is necessary, a real discriminating factor: if it is not allowed in the traditional panettone, it is obligatory for the colomba. However, if the specifications leave no margin in choosing which ingredients to use, the big difference between one product and another is the quality of the ingredients themselves, the manufacturing process and the mastery of the pastry chef. Then there is the processing: it often takes many days to take a Colomba out of the oven starting from the basic ingredients, in which most of the time is dedicated to leavening, which is a fundamental moment capable of significantly influencing the final quality: leavening natural does nothing other than give the product softness and lightness, and ensure that the flavors are concentrated. However, lightness also means digestibility.

The quality of the ingredients

Equally important are the quality of the ingredients in the dough and the icing: you must taste the butter and orange (always in the classic version, obviously)!

And the icing on the top? Another very delicate topic…

In general, industrially produced icing has a slightly bitter taste, due to the use of kernels which are nothing more than apricot kernels(?!) and which are obviously much cheaper than almonds. The icing of industrial doves always remains perfect because the presence of preservatives concentrates the humidity in the mixture, extending its expiry date and keeping the icing always crunchy.

The artisanal colomba, on the other hand, is not "dried" like an industrial one, it is soft, but the humidity and the lack of preservatives make the icing more fragile, more crumbly and with the risk of it melting. This is why homemade icing seems to fade or remain soft after a few days and the appearance, therefore, can be different and less inviting.

The expiration of an artisanal dove

Another important element is the duration: a true artisanal dove must have a very short expiry date, a maximum of 45 days. The lack of preservatives and additives does not allow for a longer shelf life. This is why Fine Taste offers you the opportunity to purchase the Colombe immediately but will deliver them to you starting from March 30th: we want to offer you a very fresh product, made especially for you, which you can enjoy in optimal conditions! If you invest 35-40 euros for an artisanal product, you need to have a little patience and wait to eat it almost immediately!

Tips to serve you best

A few small suggestions for correct conservation and presentation to amaze your guests and for a real taste sensation:

  • the dove should not be kept in sunlight or heat, it should be kept in a cool, dry place (not in the kitchen!), especially to preserve the icing;
  • better to eat it after turning the oven on to 150°, turning it off and then baking it for a minute to let the butter recover;
  • To enjoy it at its best, the Colomba cannot be cut at random. The wings are cut, then the head and tail, and finally the body is dissected. In each slice there will always be icing and dough.

At this point you must have felt the desire to taste a high quality artisanal Colomba...

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