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Sfogliatella is the shell-shaped Italian pastry we all need in our lives

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It’s hard to improve on the croissant, but we reckon an Italian pastry might just have the edge. Called sfogliatella, this shell-shaped confection is made of hundreds of flaky golden leaves and traditionally filled with sweet ricotta, semolina and candied orange peel.

The pastry originated in Naples at the Santa Rosa convent, some 400 years ago. Legend has it that a nun was preparing biancomangiare, a baked semolina dessert similar to blancmange, and made some modifications to the recipe, spreading it between dough covered in lard and sugar. The resulting magnificent puff pastry evolved at a local restaurant into the ricotta- and semolina-stuffed creation it is today.

A tower of beautiful, golden sfogliatella. Photo: iStock.

A tower of beautiful, golden sfogliatella. Photo: iStock.

To make it, the pastry is rolled or passed through a pasta machine until very thin and transparent. It’s then rolled into a cigar before being sliced into discs, which are stretched into cone shapes and filled with a sweet ricotta-and-semolina mixture.

It’s still served in Naples as a breakfast item with a cappuccino.

We reckon that any day that starts like this is likely to continue in an excellent manner.

Like a croissant, it’s best eaten while still hot from the oven.

In English, they’re often referred to as lobster tails.

Though they remind us of shells, too.

Cola de Langosta #sfogliatella #venecia #dulces

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Naturally, it’s also perfectly possible (if not highly recommended) to fill them with chocolate.

《催事情報》浦和伊勢丹 2017/3/22~3/27 伊勢丹浦和 大催事 『イタリア展』 スフォリアテッラ実演販売中♪ (初日完売でご迷惑をお掛けしました。) プレーン ピスタチオ ジャンドゥーヤ マロン フラゴーラ(新作) #伊勢丹浦和店#浦和スイーツ#スフォリアテッラ#スフォリアテッレ#sfogliatella#オスピターレ#ospitale#カフェオスピターレ#マツコの知らない世界#ドルチェ#イタリアンドルチェ浦和#イタリアンドルチェ#人気スイーツ#スフォリアテッラ焼き立て#オスピターレ#ospitale#カフェオスピターレ#マツコの知らない世界#ドルチェ立川#イタリア展#スフォリアテッラ埼玉#スイーツ埼玉#ドルチェ埼玉 A post shared by オスピターレ (@caffe_ospitale) on

Or ice cream, for that matter.

Either way, they’re utterly beautiful.

#sfogliatella A post shared by Valentina Riccobono (@piuchedolceconvalentina) on

Eat your heart out, croissants!

#naples #sfogliatella #capparelli #foodpics #foodart #napolifoodporn #napoli

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