Talking pastry with stylish eyed media maven M, I heard her kvell about something called “shfooyadell” which I had never heard of. Or so I thought. It turns out that we were talking about sfogliatelle in a more casual – and probably realistic – pronunciation than I was used to. However you want to say it, sfogliatelle are delicious.
Many swear by Modern Pastry – and they are very good – but this example came from Maria’s Pastry Shop. I’ll be running a head-to-head comparison as soon as I get clearance from my cardiologist. The sfogliatelle has its origins in Naples and is made of flaky dough in many layers filled with a citrusy cheese mixed with sugar and eggs, sort of like the stuff in a cannoli.
Some pastry shop offer something called a Lobster Tail in addition to (Modern) or instead of (Lyndells) sfogliatelle, but I find those to be much less interesting, too large and too creamy. Apparently, they are an American creation adapting the Italian sfogliatelle.
At Maria’s there were only the original sfogliatelle, crisp and flaky with just the right amount of orange lemon flavor. There’s also a cat, named cookie, which I think is a plus in a neighborhood business.
David, I was deliciously thrilled to partake in the tasting of your blog post subject. I first tasted the delicacy of sfogliatelle in a little cafe in Positano, Italy. It was served warm accompanied by a double espresso and I was in heaven! Luckily, the pastry shops in the North End deliver a close second in terms of the crunchy and chewy outer layer and the creamy inside. As for the lobster tail, it’s some over-americanized amalgamation of a dessert. No comparison. As for who wins the taste test? Maria’s is a good call. Not as much ambiance as Modern but who can resist a cat named Cookie?
My first Lobster tail experience was at a train station in Italy. So I highly doubt that the lobster tail was created here in America.
The first time I saw a live lobster it was in a tank in a restaurant in Chinatown, so I highly doubt that lobsters come from the ocean.