Good morning Foodies!!
It’s especially in rainy days like today (yes, I know, in London it rains almost every day… No comments about that!) that I miss my beautiful city the most!
That’s why this morning I have decided to let you know a thing or two about the sweets of Naples, from an “historical” (let’s say) point of view... Enjoy!
As some of you may know, Naples is situated in the south of Italy in the region Campania, to be even more precise. It is worldwide known as “the land of the sun, sea and culture” and has been renowned since ancient times for its vast culinary heritage, rich in delicacies that are unique in the world!!
The Italian “pastry heritage” can be divided in 3 main categories, and one of them is undoubtedly constituted by the Neapolitan desserts. In the north of Italy, we have the Piedmont school; in the very south there is the great Sicilian tradition. In common with the other two categories, it has a very important feature that distinguishes it from all other Italian regions, namely that it has assumed its own distinctive characters in cities and not in the countryside.
The Neapolitan pastry tradition assumed its classical plasticity during the 18th century when Naples was the most populous city in Italy and in this context it is possible to identify 4 families of desserts: the first one, common to the rest of Italy, includes sweets that have a peasant derivation, which generally starts from bread or cereals, whose most famous symbol is undoubtedly the “pastiera” (I will make a post about this amazing cake that we usually eat during Easter festivities… It’s definitely a must try!!).
The second family of Neapolitan pastry has its roots in the Arab tradition, characterized mainly by the use of frying as method of cooking. In this category you can find sweets such as “zeppole” and “struffoli” (another symbol of Naples, typical of Christmas time… But you will hear about them later on…).
The third family consists in the so-called “walking pastries” to mean small sweets that you could eat while having a walk in the streets, a precise reference to the bourgeois tradition with products such as “sfogliatelle”, “babà”, “zuppette”, “choux”.
Finally, the fourth category includes aristocratic cakes that have Parisian roots, characterized by complex preparations and secret recipes kept by the chefs...
Well guys, hopefully I gave you a little interesting insight of our immense culinary heritage and maybe the curiosity to visit my beautiful and try those amazingly delicious treats… Believe me, it’s really worth a try!
Enjoy your day, and remember: you can’t buy happiness but you can buy a cake. And it’s kinda the same thing!