The world knows and appreciates the famous Neapolitan Sfogliatella. The traditions of the regional cuisine Campana are many and each makes us want to live forever in its beautiful places. But there is one other thing that is impossible to not appreciate in Naples and concerns its pastry.
The Neapolitan Sfogliatella: here is its history
When we visit a city bell, we remain ecstatic and fascinated by its beauties, history and culture, the art that exudes every place. However, it is virtually impossible not to mention its secular culinary tradition.
Today we focus on the most famous dessert of Naples, together with the Baba and the pastry, or the sfogliatella. This cake can be tested in two variants: Curly, or when its preparation involves the use of puff pastry, or short pastry, when the pastry is used instead.
In Both cases, we are faced with one of the most good sweets in the world, able to make us lick the mustache and to order another portion immediately!
But what is the story of the Sfogliatella? When is this dessert so good?
When the Sfogliatella was called Santarosa
It dates back to the eighteenth century, in the Conservatory of Santa Rosa da Lima, in the province of Salerno. This cake, we can say, is born absolutely by chance, like all the best things in the world or the great inventions. It seems that in the convent was advanced of the pasta of semolina. The sisters, attentive to saving, instead of throwing the surplus in the garbage, they thought of working the pasta with dried fruit, limoncello and sugar.
The sisters put the filling in the surplus of puff pastry, put a cap to cover it and put the product in the oven. They had no idea whatsoever of having written the history of the regional cuisine bell.
When they baked and tasted it, they were very impressed by the kindness of the cake, so much so that they decided to start selling it. The inhabitants of the area appreciated it so much that they always asked for the preparation.
All the variants of Neapolitan Sfogliatella: curly, short pastry, lobster tail
Initially, the Sfogliatella was known to the public as Santarosa, namely the convent, dedicated to the saint.
It was 1818, when Santarosa's secret recipe was entrusted to a Neapolitan pastry chef, Pasquale Papas. Papas began to introduce the Sfogliatella to Neapolitans: He modified a little the recipe and the filling and defined the variant that we all know, or the curly-puff.
Today there are dozens of variants of the curly or short pastry sfogliatella. In addition to these two, you can still taste the Santarosa, or the original recipe, or the lobster tail. The latter is known in Salerno under the name Apollino.
The lobster tail is a side variant of the Curly Sfogliatella: it is slightly larger and elongated than the sister. Its filling has whipped cream, chantilly cream, jam or chocolate cream.
Today the variant with Nutella, the famous cream of Ferrero, is also very appreciated. In each Neapolitan bar you have the possibility to order it, maybe for breakfast, together with the coffee. It is impossible not to be entranced by the fragrance of Sfogliatella and very tasty stuffing.
Ancient specialties of the Amalfi Coast, in the Salerno, the sighs are small sweets of round form formed by two semicircles of sponge cake with the center of the cream. Traditionally, for over a century, the sighs were filled with custard, today, for over twenty years, the custard has been replaced by lemon cream.
The preparation of the sponge cake involves the dough of eggs, sugar and flour to prepare the molds of the desired size which must be placed on baking paper, covered with lemon cream and then covered with sugar icing. Just for the richness of lemons of the Amalfi Coast sighs are a specialty of all the numerous restaurants in the area as well as, of course, all the artisan workshops of pastry.
What is lemon cream liqueur?
The lemon-cream liqueur, in some areas also known as Cremoncello, is a variety produced in the Amalfi Peninsula, in the province of Salerno. This preparation is a variation of the famous limoncello of the coast with the addition of milk. Its final consistency is creamy and reaches an alcoholic rate of 30 °.
Although it is a variation of the traditional limoncello, even this lemon cream liqueur is entered in the list of traditional products. Instead, all the other recipes that use different processes or lemons from other areas of cultivation different from the Amalfi Peninsula are not.
The ingredients are readily available: lemons from the Amalfi Peninsula, alcohol 90 °, sugar, milk, cream and vanillin. Let's proceed with order.
Get the lemons of the Amalfi Coast and after having washed and dried, literally "peel" taking care to take only the yellow part of the rind and not the white part below.
Then soak the skins in alcohol. Afterwards, take a large enough container and remove the skins, and add a syrup prepared with water and sugar. At this point boil the milk with the sugar and when it is cooled add also this last liquid in the container. Finally, add unwhipped cream for sweets flavored with vanillin and mix everything well.
Transfer the liquor obtained in bottles and leave to rest for two months before consuming, even in the freezer.
Usually it is prepared in the House, but you can also buy from small companies that produce it in a handcrafted way using the best raw materials and respecting the original recipe. Before serving this liquor, if stored in the freezer, leave it a few minutes off.
What are the Sounders?
They are sweet inevitable in all the bell houses during the Christmas period and are an ancient dish. They were brought to Naples, probably, by the Greeks at the time of the foundation of Partenope. Greek is, in all likelihood, the origin of the name, from “Strongulus” which means “rounded” and recalls to their form: the very, indeed, are nothing more than the “fried balls”, obtained from a mixture of eggs and flour, and compacted by honey and the Crankset of candies and sugar confetti.
The ancient recipe, handed down from house to house, wants the dough to be prepared with flour, eggs, butter, milk, lemon grated, salt, vanilla or vanillin and you work for a long time to be cut into small pieces that are shaped in the shape of balls About an inch in diameter that are fried in oil and then mixed with honey. The mixture must then be worked with the hands, resting on a tray and garnished with pieces of candied fruit and coloured confetti.
The anchovies (so-called anchovies) are an irreplaceable fruit of fishing, a very flourishing activity in all the coastal municipalities of the provinces of Naples and Salerno. The traditional recipes for the preparation of the anchovies are numerous throughout the midday, but in particular the recipe of the anchovies under salt has been kept unchanged for reasons, as well as taste, also of necessity. The preservation of salt, in fact, allows to keep the anchovies for whole months, making sure that they can be consumed during the long periods of bad weather, when it is impossible to go out by sea and when the fishing is poor.
The procedure adopted both in the family and by small companies that market the product, provides that fresh anchovies are kept in salt a first time for about 2 days, and then be cleaned completely, salted a second time, covered With weights because they are pressed and expel the blood naturally and then left to mature. As well as simply under salt, the anchovies are often mixed, at the time of the second salting, even with the ground chili and with bits of garlic, because they acquire a spicy flavor.
The Cacioricotta is a tasty goat cheese whose name derives from the particular technique of coagulation of milk and is linked to the area of Cilento, in the province of Salerno, where it is produced and marketed for years. Its shape is cylindrical and the colour tends to straw yellow, more intense the more the aging period as, of course, the flavor becomes more intense. Fundamental for its originality is the raw material: exclusively fresh goat milk.
The processing procedure is also important: the milk is heated up to the boiling and then cooled naturally to 37 degrees. At this temperature one adds kid's rennet. The curd is broken vigorously and then collected and compacted in the Fuscelle, the typical wicker baskets, for the release of the serum. The particular combination of temperature and rennet determines the coagulation of the milk proteins, i.e. the cheese, and the whey, the ricotta. The product you get, is consumed fresh or seasoned. The seasoning makes it particularly hard, compact and scaly.
The black truffle liqueur has a light brown colour and has a very strong and aromatic taste. The traditional Campania is produced in the province of Avellino, using the black truffle of Bagnoli in the main ingredient. The village is located in the high valley of the river Heat which is renowned for the concentration of black truffles.
The liqueur is prepared using the black truffle of Bagnoli, pure alcohol at 90 ° and a syrup made from water and sugar. After the maceration time, the liquid is bottled and left to rest. Finally, it is filtered and put in new bottles ready to be tasted.
The final gradation is about 38-40 °.
What is "Concerto" liquor?
The "Concerto" liqueur is produced in the Amalfi Coast, in the province of Salerno, mainly in the villages of sunsets and Maiori. His invention was attributed to the monks of the convent of St. Francis of sunsets who made a "concert" of 15 herbs and spices to create this liqueur.
Among the herbs used are: licorice, fennel, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, Alpine Star and mint…
You choose carefully the herbs that are then put to macerate for forty days in alcohol. After this time, the infusion is filtered and enriched with a syrup made with: water, coffee and barley and minced, sugar, orange and lemon peels.
At the end of the preparation, the liquid is bottled and left to stand for at least two months before being consumed.
For the most curious, there are no precise doses of herbs to use to create the "Concerto", but in small artisan workshops present in the Amalfi Coast you can buy the basic mixture already ready to make the infusion.
The final gradation is about 30 °.
Cetara is an ancient fishing village in the province of Salerno, still today characterized by an economy focused on fishing and crafts. A Cetara continues to be present in the culinary tradition, the flowing of anchovies, heir of the Garum, a dish descripted by Pliny and Horace as a sauce of creamy fish that was obtained by macerating alternating layers of small and whole fish, probably Anchovies and larger fish cut into pieces, perhaps mackerel or tuna, with layers of chopped aromatic herbs, all covered with coarse salt.
What is the anchovy flow?
The anchovy flowing which is produced in Cetara is an amber liquid obtained following an ancient procedure that the fishermen of the place have handed down from father to son.
It starts from the technique of working the anchovies under salt, of which the casting is a derivative: the anchovies freshly caught, throughout the spring period, are deprived of the head and the innards and then placed in a container, sprinkled with abundant sea salt for 24 Hours. After the first salting, they are put in a small barrel, the Terzigno, and arranged with the classic technique ' ' head-tail ' ' in alternating layers of salt. After completing the work, the Terzigno is covered with a wooden disk, on which weights are placed. Due to the pressing and maturation of the fish, the liquid secreted by the anchovies begins to surface. This liquid is the basic element for the casting: progressively harvested as it is inserted into large glass bottles and exposed to direct sunlight for about four or five months, because it evaporate the water and increases the concentration so that, in Gender between the end of October and the beginning of November, everything is ready for the last phase: the liquid collected and preserved is poured back into the terzigno where the anchovies have remained in ripening. So, slowly colending through the various layers of the fish, it collects the best of the organoleptic characteristics. It is recovered through a hole specially practiced in the Terzigno, transferred to another container and filtered by the use of linen sheets, called caps. The final result is a clear distillate of amber-coloured cargo, almost brown-mahogany, with a decisive and full-bodied flavor that at Cetara is the traditional condiment for the spaghetti of the vigilante, as well as for the bruschetta, the Christmas broccoli and other vegetables: Traditionally considered a poor food, substitute for fresh fish, today is a seasoning sought and appreciated at all levels.
What are the oranges of Sorrento?
The oranges of Sorrento are characterized by a thick skin, an abundance of seeds and juice and a rather high caliber. The Orange is a traditional cultivation of the Sorrentine Peninsula, dating back to 1300, at that time constituted a considerable source of income, because it fed an intense current of direct export, by sea, to the main Italian markets and Europeans, so that over the centuries its cultivation has widened and improved.
The orange groves are protected from the wind and the cold by the characteristic pergolas, which, by delaying the ripening of the fruits, allow to collect the product in late spring. In fact you can collect oranges until the early days of August.
The Sorrento orange can be used in different ways. The most classic is to obtain from these fruits of the freshest juices, which can still be today, as has happened for centuries, to consume at the typical kiosks of Neapolitan acquafrescai. In addition, it can be used in cooking to make: jams, candied skins with or without cover of chocolate, sweets, aromatize liqueurs and to enrich salads.
To make an exquisite marmalade of oranges of Sorrento just get the oranges of Sorrento Fresh and sugar. Few simple ingredients and about 3 hours for preparation.
Wash the fruit and let it dry, then peel it by hand and cut into pieces. Remove the seeds. Put all the pulp in a pan together with the sugar and leave to cook for about an hour, stirring continuously. In the end, potted the hot jam in glass jars, previously sterilized.
Did you know that with these fragrant fruits, some daring crushers of the Salerno, have managed to make oil to the oranges of Sorrento. A combination of fine olives and oranges from the Sorrentine Peninsula. This oil is a good condiment for savory dishes and even to prepare greedy treats.
The pagan Orange is a type of blond orange grown in the agro-Sarnese and in particular in the municipalities of Pagani and S. Egidio of Monte Albino, whose origin is probably Chinese, although it was imported into Europe by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. Of its importation by the Portuguese merchants remains traced also in its name in dialect "Port", whose etymology unites the Neapolitan dialect with other languages, such as the Turk and the Greek, and dialects, like the Calabrian or the Sicilian. The importation in these areas is, however, very ancient, historical documents attest that the first specialized orange groves were implanted since 1845.
This is probably due to the particular predisposition of the soil, of volcanic or alluvial origin, and to the particularly favorable climate. The pagan orange matures in late spring, distinguishing itself from the other local varieties. The color of its skin ranges from bright orange to a yellow that tends to ochre.
The term "nougat" derives from the Latin "torreo", a verb that means "toast", with reference to the roasting of hazelnuts and almonds.
Some argue that the nougat was spread by the Arabs, who brought this cake along the coasts of the Mediterranean in particular in Spain and Italy. For sure, it has deep origins in the Benevento, where already at the time of the Romans, the "Copeta" was produced, that is the progenitor of the nougat. The classic "Copeta" is composed of honey, egg whites, almonds or hazelnuts, mixed together and cooked in a bain-marie.
The nougat was used as a gift for the high ecclesiastical offices and for the nobles and following the Bourbon kingdom this cake has become a typical Christmas specialty. For this reason, already in the early ' 900, there was an increase in the production of this delicacy that gave rise to many small companies, especially in the Benevento.
On the Benevento territory we produce different types of nougat: white with almonds, white cupedia with hazelnuts, soft white with almonds, but among the most famous is the "witch" that takes its name from the homonymous liqueur and the version elaborated by San Marco dei Cavoi also called "Kibble". The kibble is made of sugar, almonds and chopped hazelnuts and covered with dark chocolate.
Honey is a food with a remote origin, already known to the ancient Egyptians for its antiseptic properties and because it is considered a symbol of purity and authenticity, thanks to its clear and transparent appearance. Color and the scent of honey depend on the plant frequented by bees, and therefore, by the type of pollen used to produce it; The rich and variegated vegetation of Campania has meant that in the centuries flourished a great production of different types of honey, which, besides being consumed fresh, is also the main ingredient of many dishes of the confectionery tradition, just think of the nougat or The products with Acacia honey. The latter is a specialty of the whole region, derived from the nectar of Acacia: It has a very light colour and a light but characteristic perfume; Its flavor recalls the vanilla scent of flowers. Acacia honey is harvested manually between April and October and is left to mature for 3-4 weeks; It is then packaged in glass containers and placed on the market no later than the autumn of the year following that of harvest. Chestnut Honey is also very ancient and occupies an important place in the tradition of food campana, since it constitutes, often accompanied by dried fruit, a fundamental ingredient in traditional confectionery handicrafts. Derived from the nectar of chestnut blossoms, this honey has a color that varies from amber to dark brown. It has a very typical, strong and penetrating smell and a slightly bitter pungent taste. Chestnut Honey also does not crystallize and is harvested between April and October to be packaged in glass containers and placed on the market by the autumn of the year following the harvest. The sunflower honey, produced and packaged with the same modalities as those of Acacia and chestnut is, unlike the latter two, a type of honey that tends to crystallize. Also used alone or in pastry, it has a bright yellow color and delicate smell of wax and straw. The taste is very special, slightly herbaceous and very refreshing. The on is a characteristic fodder plant of the clayey soils of the Mediterranean areas; It blossoms at the end of the spring with a beautiful red flower, from whose nectar is extracted the honey of on. It is a honey suitable for any use, traditionally used for the preparation of the nougat; It is very clear, almost white and crystallizes in white and compact paste with crystals easily soluble. Its taste is delicate and has a pleasant vegetable note. In all the hilly areas of Campania a honey is produced, whose extraction and preservation techniques have remained unchanged over time: the Millefiori honey. As its name suggests, it is a type of honey consisting of the nectar of different flowers, the organoleptic characteristics of which vary, therefore, to the prevalence of one or the other species. The product is amber yellow in color and has a sweet and delicate taste. Millefiori Honey after extraction and centrifugation must decant for only 10 days; It is then marketed in glass jars, both liquid and solid.
The term ricotta comes from Latin recoctus, a term that indicates the annealing of the serum after the production of cheese, which is why the ricotta cannot be considered a real cheese, because it is obtained from the processing of the serum that is Free from curd. It is an ancient product and spread throughout the region, which must be consumed fresh.
It is obtained by heating the serum to a temperature of about 80 degrees, when a light and white floccose mass emerges, which is collected still warm and put into plastic baskets or braided joint, called Fuscelle, from which derives the name this type of ricotta. It is obtained, thus, a prismatic form, of white colour, from the delicate consistency, which is consumed by itself or as essential ingredient in many of the traditional dishes of Campania, from the filled pasta, to the sweets like the pastry.
What is the butter or the butter?
The burro is a cheese with spun dough formed by a puff of buffalo cheese in which a scoop of butter is placed inside. The butter is obtained from the residual serum of the processing of the spun paste, which is centrifuged and to which a spherical shape is given. Later, during the processing of the spun pasta, bags of pasta are created in which the butter balls are inserted. Depending on the shape, the product is called "Burro", when it is lengthened and has the head, or "burred", when it is packaged in a more nodular form and is without head; Although the characteristics of the shape vary depending on the manufacturer and are not influential on the final characteristics of the product. It is a very fatty cheese, born from the need to preserve, especially in past times, the butter for as long as possible, keeping the taste unchanged until the time of consumption. The burr is cut into round slices with the central butter, generally consumed fresh, smeared on hot bread croutons and combined with young red wines.
Produced in the provinces of Naples, Caserta and Salerno.
The Capicollo, or neck, is a sausage produced using a cut of meat from the back of the pig's neck, hence the name.
In Campania its production is widespread throughout the region, especially in the interior areas such as the lower Irpinia, the Neapolitan hinterland, the upper Caserta, in the Salerno and in the Cilento. It consists of a single cut of whole meat, which is salted and flavoured with spices, cured, smoked and left to season for 2 to 4 months. The Capicollo has a diameter of about 10-15 centimeters and a length of 30-40 cm, is particularly fragrant and has a soft texture and a firm and aromatic taste.
It is called "poor" a dish of tradition that uses only local raw materials, a heritage of peasant culture, which has always exploited with wise insight every product, even those that elsewhere are considered waste. It is the case of the Ammugliatielli, the tasty rolls of lamb's innards, a product typical of the interior areas of Campania, in particular of the Campania-Lucan Apennines. Because of the geographic extent of their diffusion, the recipe and the name vary slightly: they are, in fact, defined as "Mugliatieddu", "Glummarieddi", "Migliatielli" or "migliatieddi", terms which, however, derive all from "Mugliatiello", "Ball", Because they remember a ball both for the shape and for the gesture that is necessary to prepare them, similar to what is accomplished to wrap the wool.
The Ammugliatielli are, basically, the entrails of lactating lamb wrapped in a stick of wood, accompanied, possibly, by garlic, parsley, cheese and chilli. All the variants of the recipe stipulate that the insides are carefully washed to avoid the transmission of pathologies to man (although the lambs used are in neonatal age and have, therefore, only ingested milk, which excludes almost entirely the Presence of viruses transmissible to humans, possibly eliminated by cooking), dipped for a few hours in water and citrus peels and dried, only to be partially used as a base for padding together with cheese, sweetbreads, parsley and garlic, or Only citrus fruits. The remainder serves to close the rolls. The Ammugliatielli are mostly roasted, although they can be cooked in various ways.
In addition to the ancient Caciocavallo, in the area of the Sorrentine Peninsula is produced, for a few years to this part, a cheese that resembles very much: the baby of Sorrento. The baby takes its name from its shape, reminiscent of a newborn baby in swaddling clothes and is a tasty semi-cooked and spun cow's milk cheese of very clear colour.
Its process of preparation is very similar to the traditional one of the Caciocavallo, from which it differs for the maturing times, which for the baby are very short, with the consequence that its taste is very delicate.
It was probably born for this reason: to offer to the many tourists who frequent the area a product similar to the Caciocavallo, but with a less pronounced taste.
The Fragolino, also called Rosolio of strawberries, is an ancient specialty, spread throughout the Campania region. It is a liqueur with a pleasant dark red colour and a sweet taste, the alcohol content of which is usually around 35, obtained from the strawberries of Bosco.
It is prepared by macerating the strawberries of fresh wood in alcohol, for a period that can go from 2 to 10 days. After maceration, the preparation is filtered and diluted with a sugar syrup prepared apart, then it can be left to rest or be consumed immediately.
The chocolate to the Limoncello is an infusion of homemade tradition, made exclusively with natural ingredients, whose production has spread over the last 30 years in some territories of the province of Naples, especially in the area of the Sorrentine Peninsula, Homeland of the oldest limoncello, of which it represents a greedy and more wintry variant.
It is a liquor obtained by mixing thin cocoa powder with alcohol at 90 ° and, of course, with the traditional limoncello. Widespread in the whole area, still today is produced mostly for domestic use, but can also be found in the market, since it is packaged and marketed by some local companies bells and is very appreciated for its particular taste and its distinct Digestive quality.
What is the finocchietto?
The finocchietto is a liqueur that is produced in the province of Salerno and in all the interior areas of the region. The fennel liqueur has a straw-yellow colour and an alcohol content of about 30 ° degrees and is particularly appreciated for its digestive properties, so much so that, besides being produced for domestic use, it has been successfully marketed by Some local artisan workshops that sell it in bottles of different shapes and sizes.
To prepare it, let macerate in alcohol for 15-20 days the dried seeds of wild fennel, prepared to which it joins the syrup of water and sugar. It is not necessary to let it rest, once bottled you can, in fact, consume immediately, preferably cold.
Campania has a strong wine-growing tradition, especially in the flat and hilly areas is produced a quality of grape called "UVA Cornicella", because it presents strongly elongated and curved berries, reminiscent of croissants. The berries are green, of a color that tends to the golden and rusty in the parts more exposed to the sun and their pulp is sweet, very crispy and rich in grape seeds, while the skin is quite consistent.
Thanks to the texture of the skin, the Cornicella is endowed with a remarkable keeping, a characteristic that makes it still today very widespread on the regional market, despite having lost the primacy as a result of the diffusion of more modern crops.