While in Rome we made a friend who is from Naples. He kindly made us a list of all of the places to see and foods to eat while visiting his hometown. He'd told us specifically about a pastry that was a breakfast favorite. We weren't checked into our Naples hotel for ten minutes before Bryce walked into our room holding one. I had my lens on it in seconds and my crumby fingers on it a moment later! They're called sfogliatelle and they're the most memorable thing I'd eaten throughout our entire trip.
In related news, sfogliatelle is my favorite Italian word to say!
According to Wikipedia the meaning is small leaves or layers, referring to the beautiful shell of the pastry. There must be 100 layers, at least! It's unlike anything I've seen before.
What really took me by surprise is how heavy the sfogliatelle are! The filling is ricotta based and includes candied lemon and orange.
The outside is crispy and light while the filling is sweet and dense. Before we knew it, we were seeing signs for sfogliatelle everywhere!
There are actually two types, as you can see in the sign above. A sfogliatella (singular) ricca is the "curly" style, with all of the gorgeous layers.
The sfogliatella frolla doesn't have the recognizable layers and is surely much easier to make!
The signs for the famed pastry were frequent and hilarious!
Once we learned about the sfogliatelle we couldn't get away from them! Honestly, why would you even try to?
We enjoyed just one more before we left Naples and it was even more pristine than the first.
Making a mess while eating one is unavoidable with flaky pastry and powdered sugar flying everywhere! These little beauties are an Italian treat I won't soon forget. My mind always seems to remember them in the midst of a Pure Barre workout. Is that weird? [Don't answer that.]
Since I can't get sfogliatelle off of my mind, I've done some digging.
First, there's just one bakery, Caffe Torino, that seems to sell them in Seattle. Since you can't believe everything you read on the internet - or eat any of it - I will investigate further and in real life.
Secondly, I found a cook book with a 4 page recipe for them. It's Southern Italian Desserts and the library copy is in my possession as we speak.
If I truly, successfully recreate these bad boys using a borrowed book you can send the resourceful-citizen-of-the-Earth award my way! Travel, eat, learn, borrow, recreate.
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Use the links below to see more from our travels in Italy. Of course, don't miss the other gem of Naples, the pizza.