Sfogliatelle are shell shaped filled pastries native to Italian cuisine. "Sfogliatelle" means "many leaves/layers," the pastry's texture resembling leaves stacked on each other.


The sfogliatella Santa Rosa was created in the monastery of Santa Rosa in Conca dei Marini
Conca dei Marini
Conca dei Marini is a town and comune in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of south-western Italy. It is situated in the Amalfi Coast.-Geography:The village is situated on a hill close to the coast and between Amalfi and Furore....

 in the province of Salerno
Province of Salerno
The Province of Salerno is a province in the Campania region of Italy.-Geography:The largest towns in the province are: Salerno, the capital, which has a population of 139,579; Cava de' Tirreni with a population of 53,488; Battipaglia with a population of 51,115; and Nocera Inferiore which has a...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, in the 18th century
18th century
The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar.During the 18th century, the Enlightenment culminated in the French and American revolutions. Philosophy and science increased in prominence. Philosophers were dreaming about a better age without the Christian fundamentalism of...



There is a wide array of dough recipes for Sfogliatelle, but in all cases the dough is stretched out on a large table, brushed with a fat (butter, lard, shortening or a mixture), then rolled, once formed into a rolled log (much like a swiss roll, but with many more layers), disks are cut from the end and shaped to form pockets to hold the filling. Filling recipes also vary; some examples are an orange-flavored ricotta filling, almond paste or candied peel of citron
Not to be confused with Cintron.The citron is a fragrant citrus fruit, botanically classified as Citrus medica by both the Swingle and Tanaka systems...


The dough is sealed around the filling and the pastries baked till their characteristic ridges form as the layers of dough separate.

Regional variations

In Naples, sfogliatelle is sometimes called "sfogliatella riccia" ("curly") to distinguish it from "sfogliatelle frolla", a less refined pastry which uses a shortcrust dough that does not form the more labor intensive authentic sfogliatelle dough's characteristic layers.

Italian-American bakeries, especially in the New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 area, created a cousin pastry to the sfogliatelle in the 1900s called a "lobster tail" or "egg plant" version. The pastry has the same outside as sfogliatelle, but instead of the ricotta filling, there is a french cream, similar to that of a whipped cream inside. This version was not the original shape or filling used. Most bakeries still make the original style "Clam Shell" with ricotta filling. This version was changed because the taste was not as sweet as the French cream filling.

A somewhat similar savory pastry is made in Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 is the Pastizzi
A pastizz is a savoury pastry from Malta, usually stuffed with ricotta or mushy peas. Pastizzi are the most popular and best known culinary export of Malta.-Preparation:...

, which filled with ricotta cheese
Ricotta cheese
Ricotta is an Italian dairy product made from sheep milk whey left over from the production of cheese. Although typically referred to as ricotta cheese, ricotta is not properly a cheese because it is not produced by coagulation of casein...

; Pastizzi tal-Pizelli use a pea filling (note, this is not vegetarian as there is a little meat in the filling). While similar, the Maltese pastizzi predates the invention of sfogliatelle—Archaeologists say old merchant ledgers list pastizzi even before the time of the knights who built Valletta, the capital city of Malta, which was started in 1566.
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