Going down the panettone

Has anybody else noticed the deluge of panettone in England this Christmas? Every shop I go in seems to have top shelves bursting with panettone of different shapes and varieties, be they food shops, clothes shops or shops selling car parts. Indeed, I have gone past WHOLE shops devoted to the stuff – panettone up to the top of every shop window, balanced on top of every counter, being worn as hats by the staff.

I don’t remember this happening last year, and I’m sure than when I was young we managed to get through the whole Christmas season without the slightest hint of dry, tasteless Italian cakey stuff.

Which leads me to two possible conclusions:

1. It’s Bedford.
2. It’s the credit crisis.

The first would make sense as Bedford is full of mafioso, but doesn’t hold true as the panettone invasion has also affected parts of London and Cambridge I have visited in recent weeks.

So what about the second alternative? Dry and tasteless it may be, but panettone is at least cheap, unlike fruitcake topped with marzipan and icing. Is the stuff being marketed to thrifty Christmas shoppers, looking for something to eat after they’ve had their turkey twizzler main course?

Or has Gordon Brown entered into some kind of sinister deal with Silvio Berlusconi? Is Italy currently undergoing a similar deluge of mince pies or some other quintessentially English Christmas dessert (in which case they definitely got the better end of the deal)?

Or it is simply Italy’s way of dealing with the credit crisis? They’re hoping to solve their financial problems by selling the only thing they have left to ship out in their millions?

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