Torredembarra bakes one of the best panettones in the world

Texture, flavor and aroma. The three basic rules of gastronomy that, if harmonized with each other, can achieve an explosion on the palate that is impossible to forget. Do you want to experience this sensation? Well, come to the Cal Jan pastry shop, in Torredembarra, and take home a chocolate panettone. No, it's not an 'average' panettone. It is, if the best of Spain in 2021 was not enough, one of the finalists of the Panettone World Cup that was held between November 4 and 6 in Milan. You can see what reasons to try it are not lacking.

At the head of this gastronomic sponginess is Rafael Aguilero, a 28-year-old young man who is the pastry chef of the pastry shop that, moreover, this year celebrates its decade. Rafael found out about the existence of panettone seven years ago and fully immersed himself in learning in depth about the delights of this delicacy: "I discovered that it was a very different dough and it really caught my attention." So he began to train and traveled to Italy, the cradle of panettone, to find out more about this Italian sweet.

There, in Italy, Rafael discovered that his panettone is "neither better nor worse than what we make in Spain", it is simply different: "Here we make it less sweet, more reminiscent of citrus. The Italian is more aromatic, fattier and with a more striking color », he explains. I don't know about you, but personally, without understanding the subject, I could be easily teased, I see a huge pastry dough that looks like it will melt on the palate and my mouth is watering. The problem is that, that I am not an expert. On the other hand, people like Rafael are not fooled: «If you understand, visually it is very easy to see if the artisan panettone is of quality or not. You have to look at whether it has a good dome, if the glass it is well distributed and above all, if at the time of cutting it, the cut parades well ». Take note

Milk chocolate filling

Let's be clear. There are panettones and panettones. And when one wins the prize for the best in Spain, it will be for a reason. I don't know if Rafael revealed the chef's secret to me, but he did tell me something: "we bet on the milk chocolate filling because it lasts more creamy and with the cold of Christmas it doesn't get so hard." Little tricks that, of course, make a difference.

In Milan, the Cal Jan pastry shop came up with the same ace up its sleeve, but it didn't work out to win the prize. It doesn't matter, because for Rafael this was the least of it: «More than competing, what fulfilled me was being side by side with great chefs who for me, such as Iginio Massari, were my idols. I have learned a lot from them." Watch out! Because if Rafael applies this knowledge to his pastry, the flavor bomb can be beastly.

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