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Type Pastry
Place of origin Italy
Region or state Province of Napoli
Main ingredients Pastry dough
Variations Many types of fillings
Cookbook: Sfogliatella

A sfogliatella (Italian pronunciation: [sfoʎʎaˈtɛlla], also common in plural form: sfogliatelle), sometimes called a lobster tail in English,[1][2] is a shell-shaped filled Italian pastry native to Campania. Sfogliatella means "small, thin leaf/layer", as the pastry's texture resembles stacked leaves. There is a distinction to be made between lobster tail and sfogliatella, as they do not refer to the same pastry. The lobster tail exists only in the United States and generally refers to a cream filled, larger pastry.[citation needed]


The sfogliatella Santa Rosa was created in the monastery of Santa Rosa in Conca dei Marini in the province of Salerno, Italy, in the 17th century. Pasquale Pintauro, a pastry chef from Naples, acquired the original recipe and began selling the pastries in his shop in 1818.[3]


The dough[4] is stretched out on a large table,[5] or flattened with a pasta maker,[6] then brushed with a fat (butter, lard, shortening, margarine, or a mixture), then rolled into a log (much like a Swiss roll, but with many more layers). Disks are cut from the end, shaped to form pockets,[7] and filled. The pastry is baked[8] until the layers separate, forming the sfogliatella's characteristic ridges.

Recipes for the dough and filling vary. Fillings include orange-flavored ricotta, almond paste and candied peel of citron.

Regional variations[edit]

Sfogliatelle Santa Rosa

In Neapolitan cuisine, there are two kinds of the pastry: "sfogliatella riccia" ("curly"), the "normal" version, and "sfogliatella frolla," a less labor-intensive pastry that uses a shortcrust dough and does not form the sfogliatella's characteristic layers.

A variation named aragosta (in the United States "lobster tail"[9]) also exists, with the same crust but a sweeter filling: French cream, similar to whipped cream.

See also[edit]