Pâtisserie St-Martin is truly a family affair. Founded in 1956, it has been owned and operated by three generations of the same family. Running a business with family members has its advantages and challenges, as Mary Musumeci will tell you. “It’s not always easy spending so much time together, but we have one thing in common: our innate passion for our business,” she says. “We were born and raised in it, and we’re happy to continue the legacy.”

That legacy includes everything from mouth-watering pastries, delectable breads as well as imported and domestic fine foods. Patrons can also chow down a complete meal, with a table d'hôte serving various hot dishes. But perhaps the most anticipated menu items are the holiday treats. Musumeci shares the highlights from the upcoming holiday menu. Many are based on Italian tradition, but can be enjoyed by everyone.

The Holiday Specials

Struffoli di Natale
This is a Neapolitan speciality that is sure to please all those with a sweet tooth. It consists of deep fried balls of dough the size of marbles. They become crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The balls are stacked up like a pyramid and coated with honey, orange rind and candies.

Christmas Logs
Although these do not originate from Italy, Pâtisserie St-Martin always carries them during the holiday season. In fact, they’re the most popular dessert. The logs come in a variety of mouth-watering flavours including tiramisu, red velvet, and Ferrero Rocher among others.

Cassata Cake
This is a Sicilian speciality and is Musumeci’s favourite dessert. Cassata cake is a round sponge cake packed with ricotta cream cheese, dried fruits and bits of chocolate. It’s then covered with a shell of marzipan, icing and candied cherries.

Holiday Baskets
Holiday baskets are another staple. At Pâtisserie St-Martin, they’re loaded with delicacies both sweet and salty. The baskets contain everything from chocolates and cookies to imported olive oils and balsamic vinegars. They are also customizable, so you can create a basket according to your specifications.

Every Italian knows the holiday season is not complete without the beloved Pannetone. It’s a tradition. Pannetone is a type of sweet bread loaf that originated in Milan. It looks like a cake, with a cylindrical shape, but is usually 12-15 cm high. It’s a mix of flour, eggs, butter, yeast, dried raisins, candied oranges, citron and lemon zest.

This is another Italian delicacy that’s typical during the holidays. Torrone is a kind of sweet nougat confection that’s packed with honey, nuts, egg whites, and sugar. It can be soft or hard, with the option of adding chocolate.

Although the Pannetone and Torrone are not created in-house, they’re imported from Italy for all Montrealers to enjoy. Pâtisserie St-Martin also offers a catering service suitable for small or large holiday gatherings. Musumeci adds, “During the holidays, people tend to indulge in more sweets than usual. It’s a time for families and friends to get together, chat, and of course, eat!”