Melegatti 1894 - The Original Pandoro & Easter Colomba
Melegatti more than 100 years of history
1894 - The beginning of our story
Quality and tradition have always been the values that guide company choices. Founded by Domenico Melegatti back in 1894, Melegatti SpA has grown over time becoming, internationally, one of the leading companies in the confectionery sector.
14.10.1894 - The Patent
October 14, 1894, Domenico Melegatti receives the Industrial Property Certificate from the Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce of the Kingdom of Italy for having invented the name, shape and recipe of Pandoro . The Dolce immediately had a large group of imitators. Hence the famous " 1000 lire challenge ": Domenico Melegatti invited the pastry chefs who made a dessert similar to his to divulge the true recipe of Pandoro, rewarded with the sum of 1000 lire. No pastry chef showed up.
How Pandoro is born - “It is just a pan de oro!”
Pandoro is inspired by a Veronese tradition linked to Christmas. The ancient custom wanted in fact that on the night of Christmas Eve, the women gathered in the kitchens of the Venetian courts making together the "levà", a mixture of flour, milk and yeast . Domenico Melegatti starts from "levà" and transforms it, enriching it with butter and eggs, eliminating what he considers counterproductive for leavening, such as almonds and sugar grains on the surface. Approximately 36 hours pass from making the dough to the finished product. The leavening of over 10 hours and the 6-7 cycles of dough make it difficult to make the cake "at home".
Domenico Melegatti therefore “warns his benevolent and very numerous clientele that he has created a new dessert”. According to the family legend, a boy, in front of the first slice of the new cake illuminated by a ray of sun, exclaimed in amazement: "l'è just un pan de oro!"
Economic development - The demand for Pandoro grows with the end of the Second World War
Pandoro was born as a dessert for all holidays and Sundays. Doctors, at the beginning of the century, even recommended it to convalescents and mothers as a light and nutritious food! Only later, with mass consumption, does it become the anniversary dessert associated with Christmas. The Dolce immediately became a great success and in a short time gave new dimensions to Domenico Melegatti's business: it is for this reason that the date of 14 October 1894 can be defined as the point of origin of the Melegatti Company.
The demand for Pandoro grows with the end of the Second World War. Italy in the 1950s underwent a profound social transformation: from an agricultural country it became an industrial nation and the increase in family income took Pandoro out of the status of a luxury product. The “Casa del Pandoro Melegatti” itself becomes a limited liability company and the first real industrial plant is opened.
Thanks also to the participation in various fairs and events throughout Italy, Pandoro is known everywhere. During this period, vans with the word Melegatti are also used to carry out an "attempted sale" in the provinces near Verona.
In the 1960s, Melegatti's production was further automated by increasing volumes. The distribution system itself is evolving: if the privileged channel is still that of pastry shops, the first supermarkets begin to emerge: Melegatti has a group of agents that cover all of Italy.
Since the 1970s, penetration in supermarkets has increased further also thanks to advertising. In 1974 the first national advertising campaign was published in the newspapers and in 1976 Pandoro Melegatti appeared on TV.