THE HISTORY OF Sfogliatella

The story is almost never sweet. But every sweet has its own story. Sometimes laboriously reconstructed, in some cases shamelessly invented.

The history of puff belongs to the first category. Of this dessert typically Neapolitan one can draw a precise topomonastica.

You read that right; topomonastica, because the topos of the puff is a monastery. That of Santa Rosa, on the Amalfi Coast, including Furore and Conca dei Marini.

In that sacred place prayed a lot, but, being a cloistered convent, you could not go anywhere, and then there was plenty of free time. Part of it was spent in the kitchen, administered in a regime of strict sufficiency: the nuns had their own gardens and their vineyards, so as to minimize contacts with the outside, and amplify those with the Lord. Even the bread the religious if they were alone cooking in the oven every two weeks. The menu was the same for all (God forbid): only the elderly nuns could enjoy a special food made of nutritious soups.

One day 400 years ago (we are in 600) the nun employed in the kitchen he saw it was a little advanced 'semolina cooked in milk. Throw it, do not speak really. And so, inspired from on high, the cook threw in a little 'nuts, sugar and lemon liqueur. "It could be a filling," he said. But what could put us above and below?

Prepared then two sheets of pasta adding lard and white wine, and we settled in the middle of the stuffing. Then, as a convent in the eye wants its part, held up a bit 'more the dough, giving it the form of a cap of monaco, and baked the whole.

The Mother Superior at first sniffed the sweet baked, sniffed and immediately after the deal, with this blessed (and made even better) you could do good both to the farmers of the area, the boxes of the convent.

The enclosure was not put in danger: the dessert was put on the classical wheel output. Always be clear, the villagers had put us into, a few coins.

At this cake was given, inevitably, the name of the Saint to whom it was dedicated the convent.

Like all God's gifts, the Santa Rosa could not stay confined in one place, to the delight of a few.

Divine Providence is a bit 'as the diet works, but do not give her hurry. The santarosa It took about one hundred fifty years to travel the sixty miles between Amalfi and Naples.

Here came the first of the 800 for worth of Pasquale Pintauro.

The Neapolitans will be protesting, but no!, Pintauro is a pastry chef, and not an innkeeper. Instead in the days we're talking about was indeed an innkeeper, with shop in Toledo street, right in front of St. Brigid. What remained an inn until 1818, when Easter came into possession, by a way that has never been clarified, the original recipe of santarosa. That year there were two conversions: Pintauro landlord became pastry chef, and his inn was converted into a confectionery workshop.

Pintauro did not just spread the santarosa: it modified, eliminating the custard and cherry, and suppressing the protrusion upper cap of monaco.

He was born puff. His most famous variety, the so-called "curly", since then maintained its triangular shape, clamshell, vaguely Rococo (with one c, not to be confused with the rococo, another famous Neapolitan dessert).

Today you can puff tasted in all the bakeries of Naples, with satisfaction. If you search for excellence, Pintauro's shop is still there: it has changed management, but not the name and insignia, and even the quality. What remains of almost two hundred years ago.

The traveler who arrives at the station in Naples, or has at least twenty minutes between a train and the other, it is recommended to stop by Attanasio, Vico Railway, which produces a continuous jet hot puffs. On his "puteca" it says: "Napule three things beautiful tene: 'O sea,' or Vesuvius, and 'and sfugliatelle". A 'Warning: stunned by the smell of freshly baked puff pastry, now in your hands, avoid to bite voraciously. The characteristic laminated dough is warm, but the ricotta filling is hot.

So’ doje sore: ‘a riccia e a frolla.

Miez’a strada, fann’a folla.

Chella riccia è chiù sciarmante:

veste d’oro, ed è croccante,

caura, doce e profumata.

L’ata, 'a frolla, è na pupata.

E’ chiù tonna,  e chiù modesta,

ma si’ a guarde, è già na festa!

Quann’e ncontre ncopp’o corso

t’e vulesse magnà a muorze.

E  sti ssore accussì belle

sai chi so’? So’  ‘e sfugliatelle!

-Dolce Melodia-
Background music by Ciro Manzoni