#sfogliatella #dolce #amalfi #sweets #monasterosantarosa #sfogliatella santa rosa #naples
It is incorrectly assumed that the ancient Greeks and Romans did not know of the existence of sugar. The first reference to sugar is made by the Greek general Nearchus of Crete.
Despite the fact that the ancients were aware of sugar, they in fact preferred honey. Sugar was used occasionally for medicinal reasons only. However, in Napoli in the 16th century the sisters had made complete use of sugar and honey where it was due using it in all sorts of delicacies they made.
The Sfogliatella Santa Rosa is a typical (religious) cake of the Neapolitan pastry class but inherited its original recipe in the Monastery of Saint Rose (Monastero Santa Rosa) situated on a cliff between Furore and Conca dei Marini, a sin of honey sweet gluttony contained within it the secrets of a distant history.
This delicious sweet was renamed "Santa Rosa" to glorify the Saint to which the monastery was dedicated and where it was created.
Adventurous archaeologists who had tasted it said it was delicious... and so do I! I was actually lucky enough to have indulged in this delicacy and learning about it all at the famous confectionary in Amalfi - Andrea Pansa Pasticceria where a very friendly waiter explained the Santa Rosa story to me in its complete timeline.
According to tradition, each convent and had their very own specialty back in the 16th century and babies were left on the doorstep of convents, the nuns of Napoli in the Monastero Santa Rosa raising them naming the surnames "Esposito" meaning exposed in Italian which is a typical surname of orphans since the 16th century as convents in the dark ages had become safe havens them.
At the time the nuns needed assistance to help raise the orphans and soon the Sfogliatella had become the solution.
As the aroma of the sweet pastries wafted out of the convents ovens it is said that the Sfogliatella was invented by the sisters only so by chance making it an experiment at first meanwhile becoming the sweet of Campania it had initially been shaped into the form of a monks hood except now it is referred to as a shell.
The public could buy the Sfogliatella Santa Rosa through a barred wheel at the gate of the Monastery like you might see today at a bank teller’s window (or similar) selling to the public by the orphans who thanked the sisters with a few coins in return and to help raise the new orphans as they were left on the doorsteps.
You must taste this ancient sweet at Andrea Pansa Pasticceria and while doing so to enjoy and honour its distant history behind it. If you can, make it more fascinating and have it at the Conca dei Marini festival still active today.
Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa, Via Roma, 2, Conca dei Marini, Salerno 84010, Italy
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