La Sfogliatella, (Lobstertail)



  • Lobstertail $5.50 each.


  • Have someone translate, its worth it:
    "Napule tre cose tene belle..
    o'mare, o'Vesuvio
    e e' sfugliatelle"

    The history of this extraordinary and popular item dates back to a 16th century convent on the Amalfi Coast near Naples. This original ancestor of the lobstertail was called La Santarosa (named after the convent, now a popular motel, where the owner of Fiat Italy is said to frequent), and its filling was a creamy white, which oozed out of the sides, and was typically served up hot. In Naples coffee shops, this is still something to die for.

    La Santarosa gave birth in the 19th century (il "Novecento") to what was then and is now known as La Sfogliatella. The English term for this is Lobstertail, though that is not a literal translation. The structure of it obviously resembles the architecture of a lobster's tail, as its shell is made of layered and crusty baked pastry, interlocking in the way that the parts of a lobster's tail does. How wonderful!

    (An aside about Italian Language and metaphors). One of the beauties of the Italian language and the selection of words is how so completely appropriate the names of things are to the images they project. "Foglia" literally means "page" or more accurately "leaf". "Sfoglia" literally means to "unfold that leaf". What more appropriate way to describe a lobster's tail than as a pattern of leaves that unfold? It's quite subtle and beautiful when you consider it.

    The white fresh cream filling of the Santarosa was replaced as well with a yellow custard filling, thick, chewy and delicious. The modern day versions of both of these that Mike's Pastry carries are both the white cream and yellow cream filled. The best of both worlds, and a cake version is available as well.