How do traditions start? The easy answer is that someone, does something, likes it and does it again.
I think that traditions take hold when there is an emotional connection, when not only the memory of the tradition is important to you, but the anticipation of it happening again holds a power over you as well.
Nutella Day has become a tradition for many people and it all started because one person, Sara Rosso of Ms Adventures in Italy wanted to celebrate Nutella. In 2007 she launched the first Nutella Day with Shelley from At Home in Rome and now co-hosted by Michelle Fabio of Bleeding Espresso, Nutella Day is celebrating its 5th Anniversary.
I have been thinking a lot about tradition lately. Some traditions I have carried over to Italy from Canada, others I have taken from my childhood and introduced to my husband and son, others I have adopted as my own since living here in Italy.
It might not have ever occurred to me to put Nutella and Pandoro together had it not been for my husband, who (wisely? foolishly?) gave me a slice of Pandoro generously spread with Nutella many years ago. I was expecting our son and my due date was in January, effectively preventing us from doing any travelling at Christmas time, so for the first time ever, we spent the Christmas holidays alone, just the two of us, in Milan. (Now there are 3 of us and it has become a tradition for the three of us to spend Christmas on our own but that is a story for another time).
Between the hormones and missing my family and (let’s be completely honest) a growing nervousness about impending motherhood, I think I may have been a little blue and it was his way of cheering me up.
Little did he know what it would lead to.
Over the years, this has become our traditional Christmas morning breakfast. I end up making it a few times during the Christmas holidays because my son loves it, but we always have it Christmas morning.
Imagine my son’s surprise when he came into the kitchen this morning and found this waiting for him.
He didn’t know that I had hidden a Pandoro away especially for this occasion and when I explained why, he quite happily tucked into breakfast and with powdered sugar and Nutella all over his face he said:
We should do this every year for Nutella Day.
So, who knows, maybe another tradition has been born in my family.
Maybe every February 5th we’ll have this, or some other Nutella treat for breakfast.
Maybe, someday, far in the future, there will a family sitting around a table happily eating Nutella stuffed Pandoro french toast for breakfast, saying: Delicious, just like Nonna used to make.
Pandoro sliced horiziontally
butter or margarine
Spread the Nutella on one slice of pandoro and lay another slice on top. Cut into wedges. In a large, shallow pan, melt the butter or margarine.
Dip the wedges in beaten egg and fry in the melted butter/margarine until a golden colour.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve.