Gran Caffè Gambrinus and the incredible pastries of Naples!

Almost my first stop in Naples was this historic Caffè Gambrinus for a coffee and sfogliatella, pictured below.

Above, the famous sfogliatella, a delightful and rich shell-shaped pastry native to Campania. The name means “small, thin leaf,” and the pastry’s texture resembles stacked leaves.

The sfogliatella Santa Rosa was created in the monastery of Santa Rosa in Conca dei Marini in the province of Salerno, Italy, in the 17th century. Pasquale Pintauro, a pastry chef from Naples, acquired the original recipe and began selling the pastries in his shop in 1818.

The puff-pastry dough is stretched out on a large table, then brushed with butter, and rolled into a log. Disks are cut from the end, shaped to form pockets, and filled. The pastry is baked until the layers separate, forming the sfogliatella’s characteristic ridges.

Recipes for the dough and filling vary. Fillings include orange-flavored ricotta, almond paste, and candied peel of citron.

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