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 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 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.