The first three things I consume upon arrival in Naples: a sfogliatella, an espresso, and a pizza margherita, usually in that order. The first item in this holy trinity of Neapolitan gastronomic treats is a pastry I used to eat as a kid growing up in New Jersey (where we say “sfil-ya-del”, an Italian immigrant pronunciation in the same spirit as “pruh-shoot” for prosciutto and “ruh-got” for ricotta). This pastry takes two forms: riccia (pictured above) and frolla. The former looks like a lobster tail and is made from crispy pastry leaves, while the latter is made with a sort of short bread crust. In both cases, the filling is a mixture of ricotta, cinnamon, sugar, egg, and candied lemon zest. Served hot so the filling and crust seem to melt together. For Neapolitans it is a classic breakfast pastry, while I use it more as an appetizer before even more carbs. Here are some of my favorite places to pick up sfogliatelle in Naples.

2016-01-07T14:37:52+00:00 September 20th, 2009|Categories: Carbs, Naples & Campania, Sweets & Dessert|11 Comments


  1. Peter @ italyMONDO! September 20, 2009 at 10:48 am - Reply

    MMMM…. Sign me up for a Riccia!

    I actually printed the list of Neapolitan pastry shops – and will be hitting them up shortly to give it a try 😉

  2. Katie September 21, 2009 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    I can never decide if I like frolla or riccia better. had a frolla at breakfast and have been thinking of riccia ever since.

  3. Tom September 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    I love these!!! And yes, we would ask for “sfeeyadel” not realizing how we were butchering the language! Now when I go into Carlo’s in Hoboken where I live (yes, the same one from Cake Boss on TLC–my family has been going there since the 60s though), I pronounce it correctly and I swear they think I am either a rube who doesn’t know how to say the word or I am too good to say “sfeeyadel.” lol

    Gotta put in a good word for pasticiotti too. Sfogliatelle and pasticiotti, I can live on both of these wonderful pastries for the rest of my life!

  4. […] Katie Parla’s photo of sfogliatella in Naples has just reminded my taste buds of when I ate my first sfogliatella back in June. […]

  5. Michelle September 29, 2009 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Now I know what to get when I get to an Italian bakery in North Beach, San Francisco, since Italy will have to wait. Thanks.

  6. Katie September 29, 2009 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    @Tom pasticciotti are incredible. they are all i eat for breakfast in lecce.

    @Michelle enjoy them!

  7. lu pierro November 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    We have just returned from Italy.. sfogliatelle, St. Joseph’s pastry, and Napoliatans were are holiday treats… The highlight of our trip was finding a beautiful sfogliatelle in Genoa ( although they didn’t call it that) hot from the oven… forget the churches! We experienced heaven with the first bite! Only in Naples did they understand the word sfogliatelle..

  8. Donato February 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    My first time in Naples (1996), the first 3 things I consumed were the same, and in the exact order. Your opening sentence brings me right back. Thank you.

    I have been following your Facebook page for awhile, but, today, snowbound in New Jersey, I have been able to peruse your site. It’s wonderful. I look forward to reading more. Grazie.

    • Katie February 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Donato! Snowy days are ideal for a trip down memory lane.

  9. […] liber este sa iei o cafea intr-o piazza, s-o “asortezi” la o babá (prajitura cu rom) sau o sfogliatella (foetaj de tip croasant, in straturi subtiri) si sa privesti la oamenii care trec. Nu vei intra […]

  10. […] this is also a sfogliatella with a different shell (also from Da Rita in Sorrento.)  According to Parla Food, this is a sfogliatella frolla, while the others are sfogliatella riccia.  Its lack of the […]

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