Monday, February 15, 2010

Sweet Carnevale Traditions

On a crowded street in Melito (near Guigliano), Stefano Pagliuca waits for me on the corner. A big man with a warm heart. I first met Stefano last September. He was one of the ‘artist’ who presented his pizza at Ciao Vino’s Winerdì on Campania Whites. I have been a fan ever since. So  I had a day off from work and decided to pay him a visit. Who is Stefano? A few of thousand  people know. He has 4 Facebook© pages, probably needs someone to just answer his mail.

I wanted to find out what it was that has enchanted thousands of friends and  fans, including myself. I found my answer….Tradition.

Stefano will tell you straight up that he follows the traditions that his mother taught him. From his breads, pizzas, and desserts, you will see Napoli in a nutshell. And there they were behind the glass. Le dolce di Carnevale….

Lella, his wife, and his daughter Daniella stood proudly behind their banco which exhibited the traditional Neapolitan Carnevale desserts. I had to try them out, of course.

Neapolitan Classics-chaicchere, migliaccio, and sanguinaccio
• First stop-le chiacchiere di carnevale. Classic. Flour, sugar, and eggs are the main ingedients for this pastry. Lella makes them in three different ways-fried in palm oil, baked, or baked dipped in sanguinaccio (chocolate).

Baked chiacchere sprinkled with powdered sugar
• Next- il castagnolo. A sweet stuffed ball packed with two types of filling. I bit into one, and was met with the sweet combination of chocolate and rum. The next one, limoncello with a charming pastry cream.

A sampling; migliaccio, chiacchere and castagnolo

• Last but not least-il migliaccio. This is basically a Neapolitan pudding pie. Lella’s was lightly sprinkled with sugar. Lightly. Made with semolina, eggs, sugar and flour, this light pudding is a must on any Neapolitan table on Martedì Grasso.

After coffee and great conversation, it was time for me to go…I realized that I was so caught up that I only took a couple of photos. Stefano told me to get some from his Facebook © page….’Which one?’ I wondered as I drove away.

Antica Panetteria dei Buon Sapori

Corso Europa, 300-Melito di Napoli

081 7117410 or 339 4777095

Next blog….what can we pair these Carnevale creations with? Ais Napoli will give their suggestions.

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