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The history of sfogliatella: scrumptious delicacy made in Naples

You never forget your first time in Naples! Together with its huge history, stunning gulf and Vesuvius, this city has an extraordinary culinary tradition, which dates back to Greek and Roman dominations, but also to French and Spanish ones: Naples is a melting pot of food cultures.

The history of sfogliatella

Among its famous dishes and products, there’s a queen that is proudly sitting of her high throne: sfogliatella.

Sfogliatella is a real institution in Naples: you haven’t really experienced the city if you haven’t tasted one. However, the history of this delicacy is surprisingly rooted a bunch of kilometers away from Naples, between Furore e Conca dei Marini, in Santa Rosa monastery.

The birth of Santa Rosa: the original sfogliatella

The legend says one day a nun decided that wasting the leftover semolina she found in the kitchen was a real sin; so she added dried fruit, sugar and lemon liquor to it and created a sort of filling. “What to do with it? “, she thought. She rolled a dough, made of lard and white wine, and filled it with this mixture. She shaped it like a monk’s hood and baked it: Santa Rosa pastry was born. You can still taste it today, topped with custard cream and black cherries in syrup.

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From Santa Rosa to Sfogliatella

It took more than 150 years for the pastry to arrive in Naples, where a tavern keeper and pastry chef, Pintauro, changed Santa Rosa and invented the famous sfogliatella, which can be riccia (crunchy), with its characteristic shell shape, or frolla (crumbly), with a friable dough.

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Eating sfogliatella in Naples

You can find sfogliatelle everywhere in the city. Here are a few addresses we personally visited:

Pintauro

Despite a change in the ownership, Pintauro’s shop is still there and their sfogliatelle are scrumptious. Who wouldn’t try a sfogliatella where it was actually born? The place is right downtown, you can’t miss it.

Attanasio

If you arrive from the train station instead, Attanasio has a warm sfogliatella for you, which is among the most delicious in town.

La Sfogliatella Mary

During your walk in the city, do not forget to stop here. There’s more than sfogliatelle to taste.

Cuor Di Sfogliatella

Looking for a different twist? Here you can find many different fillings, even salted sfogliatella, like rapini and sausage one, for example. Delicious.

Have you ever tasted sfogliatella? Tell us in the comments below!

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3 comments

  1. If you want a sfogliatella just like what you would get in Italy, then go to Lucibello’s Italian Pastry Shop in New Haven, Ct. Its the best in town and this family run shop that is almost 100 years old, continues the tradition of quality when it comes to every delicious pastry that is made on premises. Worth the trip from wherever you are.

  2. The best, Sfoligatelli were made at, DeRibertis on 1st Ave between 9th and 10th streets. They closed shop a few years ago, too bad they had the best pastrys in NY! I haven’t found any to compare to the is since!

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