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Sfogliatelle are shell shaped filled pastries created in the 17th century by the nuns of the Monastery of Santa Rosa in Conca dei Marini, a fishing village in the province of Salerno. The nuns were not allowed to leave the monastery so they were as independent as possible, baking their bread, growing fruit and vegetables, raising animals. And, to support their activities, they baked sweets. When they created the first sfogliatella it was so good they dedicated it to Santa Rosa.

Pasquale Pintauro, an inn-keeper who had his shop in Naples’ Via Toledo, in front of the church of Santa Brigida, started buying santarose to serve them as dessert in his osteria. His clients loved them so much that in 1785 he made his own version. He became a famous pastry chef and his sfogliatella is what we know as riccia, the traditional pastry. Pintauro's shop is still there and they still make the best sfogliatelle. The Monastery of Santa Rosa today is a luxurious hotel and spa.

Italian-American bakeries, in the 1900s, created the “lobster tail”, a pastry that has the same outside as sfogliatelle, but instead of the flavored ricotta filling, there is a sweeter French cream. 



English: Sfogliatelle, a neapolitan pastry. NaplesItaly.
Date 10 February 2003
Source Own work
Author Massimo Finizio