The tasty Christmas delicacies from Campania are part of the centuries-old Neapolitan pastry tradition: roccocò, susamielli, divino amore, zeppole and struffoli, lead us by the hand in the liturgical period of Advent, to long evenings spent at home, to the game of tombola.
Zeppole or Ancient Scauratielli.
Typical of the Sorrento coast, they are fried donuts prepared with a dough made from flour, water, milk and aniseed, and seasoned with honey, riavulilli (for the uninitiated, they are microscopic sugared almonds of various colors that bring to mind the decorations of our Christmas) and orange peel.
Among the Neapolitan trades there was also that of the zeppolara who fried these donuts in lard or animal fat in the street and served them covered in honey.
Delicious sweet balls fried and dipped in honey. In Naples it is not Christmas without struffoli, that explosion of taste that makes you feel like a child again every time you eat them, golden and colorful with riavulilli and candied fruit.
The origin of struffoli is Greek: the name derives from strongulos, i.e. spherical, rounded or hollow-shaped pasta; this preparation is also consolidated in the Neapolitan confectionery tradition, the confections by the Nuns of the convents of the Croce of Lucca and those of S. Maria dello Splendore were splendid.
A little curiosity, in Greek cuisine, there is a similar sweet, the Loukoumades, mixed with flour, eggs, sugar, nutmeg and seasoned with honey flavored with lemon and cinnamon.
The mustacciuoli have a rhomboidal shape, are about 10-12 cm large and are covered with a chocolate glaze, while inside they are characterized by a soft paste with a taste of honey and candied fruit.
These desserts are particularly loved by Neapolitan children for their softness and for the taste that combines honey and chocolate.
Donut-shaped sweets, in which the scent of citrus fruits sends our thoughts back to the Mediterranean, its coasts and its flower gardens.
Impenetrable sweet, hard, suitable for those with solid teeth, its name comes from the French rocaille for the baroque and rounded shell shape.
It is a particularly hard biscuit so it can be softened by dipping it in vermouth, sparkling wine, white wine or marsala.
History has it that, in the 13th century, the cloistered nuns of the Divino Amore convent, located near San Biagio dei Librai, prepared these sweet pastries to pay homage to Beatrice of Provence, mother of King Charles II of Anjou. Today the convent no longer exists, but the tradition of preparing Divino Amore has never stopped.
The Neapolitans love to taste these sweet oval pastries covered with a pink sugar glaze and filled with almonds, mixed candied fruit, eggs and apricot jam.
It is one of those desserts that the Neapolitans always want to see on their festively laid table during the Christmas period. But don’t call it just a biscuit. It is, in fact, a dessert in all respects. Compared to the Roccocò of which they are distant relatives, the Susamielli are a little softer and have the characteristic “S” shape. They owe their name to the covering with sesame seeds and among the ingredients used to prepare them, the minced walnuts, honey, cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg stand out for their aroma.
What is your favorite Neapolitan Christmas dessert, and above all, why?
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Dear guests, our lives have recently been turned upside down by the spread of Covid-19. The return to normal will be slow and gradual and as hospitality operators we have adapted to the new reality to make your holidays safe.
As regulated by the anti-Covid-19 measures, our holiday home will follow Italy’s State and Region directives to create the conditions for a reassuring stay in Naples.
Only with everyone’s contribution we will be able to overcome this crisis and therefore we ask you to respect the measures taken and the indications provided below.
Check-In / Out
You will need the green pass (COVID-19 digital green certificate) to stay in our vacation home. Travellers have to show the green certificate at the check-in. From 1st April 2022 the Green Pass will no longer be required.
Activated fast check-in and fast check-out mode, all guests will be required to provide copies of ID or passport via Whatsapp or email to reduce check-in times.
During your stay we will always be available virtually via Whatsapp for all your requests.
We will avoid shaking hands and we will respect social distances measures.
We will wear the masks correctly.
Before entering the house, the body temperature of all guests will be measured.
Upon entering the house you will be asked to sanitize your hands with the hand sanitiser made available to you.
Upon the check-in, greeting time will be reduced and you can use the material available at home and on our website for advice and useful information on managing the apartment and on your stay in Naples.
We recommend traveling light, remember that the apartment is on the third floor without a lift and in line with the provisions we will not be able to help you with your luggage.
Before guests arrive, the whole house is fully cleaned, disinfected and aired.
Sheets, pillow cases and towels are supplied and sanitized by a certified industrial laundry.
Objects, handles, buttons and remote controls are properly sanitized with specific products.
We had to remove some decorative items to comply with the cleaning regulations.
Before the guests arrive, the air conditioning system filters are sanitized.
Rules for guests
Respect the social distancing and wear the masks correctly when we meet for check-in.
Get informed and strictly comply with Italy’s State and Region directives.
Wash or disinfect your hands frequently, even at home.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue in case of sneezing and coughing.
In case of fever or flu symptoms stay at home and notify us immediately.
Set AC cooling at 24-30°C to curb spread of Covid-19.
Throw away any used masks, gloves and tissues in the undifferentiated container, remembering to take out the garbage before check-out.
Do not leave products in the fridge or other food remains in the home.
Put the used laundry back in the bags made available and close them before leaving.
Turn off all the air conditioners and open all the windows to ventilate the apartment before leaving.
In the implementation of these measures, our guests declare to be aware of the Covid-19 containment measures currently in force in regards to the limitations on the possibility of movement of persons throughout the national territory and to take full responsibility for themselves and their companions. And thus declare:
Not to be subjected to the quarantine measures, or nor to currently testing positive for Covid-19.
Not to have knowingly been in contact with persons who have tested positive of Covid-19 in the last 14 days.
Not to have a body temperature above 37.5°C or other flu symptoms.
About suspicious or positive cases
Should our guests experience symptoms of flu, fever, etc., while staying in our holiday home, despite all the precautions above mentioned, they will have to immediately let us know and they will need to leave the apartment. We will contact the Local Health Authority who will carry out a health assessment and will implement the consequent provisions as set out by the Italian law.
Also the other members of group or family must leave the apartment to return to their home.
Guests can stay for the time necessary for the organization, but already in isolation.
Our guests will be charged for any additional costs and any additional nights spent in our home to organize their return home or to self-isolate.
An anticipated thank you for your understanding and collaboration and a wish for a pleasant stay in Naples and at Interno16HolidayHome.
When Life gets back to normal… We are here to offer you the comforts of home. Patience is important but more importantly take this time to spend quality time and to stay safe. Our home away from home… awaits for you and yours!
The Booking.com Traveller Review Awards is an annual appreciation programme that recognises partners for their exceptional hospitality, as evidenced in the review scores left by travellers after their stay or experience. The 2020 edition review score is based on the average score of all guest reviews published on the Booking.com website and app between 30 October 2017 and 30 October 2019.
Celebrate the new year and start off on the right foot: here are some original ideas to toast the new year in the Neapolitan city.
New Year’s Eve in Naples: a whole party
In Naples, the New Year is a big outdoor party. On the streets of the center, in Piazza del Plebiscito, where the concert is held and at midnight on the 31st street towards Castel dell’Ovo to greet the new year with a incredible fireworks.
The party continues, until dawn the following day, on the Naples seafront, from Mergellina to Borgo Marinari where five stages will be set up between via Caracciolo and via Partenope which will host artists, bands and discos in the open.
At the Rotonda Diaz instead there will be the traditional appointment with the daredevils who will dive into the waters of the Gulf to greet the new year.
A must for those who want to spend it in a club on the 31st is Arenile di Bagnoli: here every year the Neapolitan New Year is celebrated with an unforgettable party.
For a dinner party, the board is the Posillipo Theater which organizes a dinner and disco after midnight.
The alternative to dinners and parties is the San Carlo Theater with the wonderful performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.
There are two things that are synonymous with Easter in Napoli – Pastiera – the ricotta and wheat based pie that is like a cheesecake on steroids and its equally indulgent antithesis – the rustic and savoury Casatiello Napoletano. Think of them as the yin and the yang or the Adam and Eve of the Neapolitan Easter table.
A type of rustico, or a rustic bread, Casatiello is hardy, filling, and oh so satisfying. Something I would think of more as a comfort food for the cold, wet days of winter, here it is nevertheless a symbol of spring. Made only for the Easter holiday, its brother Tòrtano however is made year round.
Two breads cut from the same dough, the only difference between them – hard-boiled eggs. Perhaps symbolic of creation, I can only guess the addition of eggs to Casatiello render it suitable only for the Easter holiday. Made in a round pan similar to an American bundt pan, the shape is said to symbolize the crown of thorns.
The recipe dates to at least the 1600s and they say, the Napoletani that is, that it is not Casatiello without sugna (or strutto in Italian) – pork fat/lard. Served as part of the antipasti on Easter day, it tastes even better the next day, Pasquetta – Easter Monday.
The first step in any good Casatiello? The ingredients.
Flour, lievito – fresh yeast sold in little cubes, water, salt, pepper, and most importantly, sugna for the dough. Hard boiled eggs and an assortment of salumi and cheese inside.
To make Casatiello with 1 kg flour we recommended “un mezzo chilo di misto,” – a 1/2 kg of assorted salumi and cheese. For our Casatiello we chopped up some ciccioli, capicollo, salame napoletano, and pancetta coppata. Pecorino cheese is typically used but this time we are using a Caciotta di Avellino.
For the dough 1 kg flour plus extra for rolling the dough. 300 ml Water. 1 cake (.6 oz) fresh yeast or one package or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast. Warm water. Salt and pepper. About 4 tbsp of lard for the dough plus more for coating the dough.
For the filling 1/2 kg assorted salumi and cheese. 6 hard-boiled eggs.
Pour flour onto a work surface. Mix in salt and a very generous amount of pepper. Add yeast (if you are using active dry yeast you will need to dissolve it in about 1/2 cup warm water first). Add water a little bit at a time, working it in until a soft dough begins to form. Add the lard and work it completely into the dough. Continue working the dough, adding water as needed until the dough is just slightly damp and very elastic. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 2 hr or more.
Meanwhile chop the salumi and cheese Boil and chop the eggs and add them to the salumi mixture
After the dough has risen one hour, flour the work surface and roll it out into a large rectangular form.
Spread the salumi mixture across the length of the dough starting near the bottom of the dough.
Roll the dough up like a cigar, pinch the edges and coat them with lard.
Bring the ends together to form a circular shape.
Grease the Casatiello pan with lard, work the dough into the pan and generously coat the top of the dough with lard.
Cover and let rise 3 hours.
Bake at 180º C for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
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