Pasticciotto: Breakfast in Puglia

Pasticciotto Puglia

Oh pasticciotto. The reason I now only wear kaftans.

These unassuming diminutive cakes are a breakfast staple in Puglia, particular to the Salento region. You won't find them elsewhere in Italy. 

The perfect pasticciotto looks almost spongy, with a slightly crispy surface and a crumbly consistency. The centre is typically filled with a custard cream, but chocolate, pistachio and cherry are also popular alternatives. Pick one up from a pasticceria or bar early in the morning and enjoy it with a cappuccino or bitter espresso.

Apparently these little cakes were invented in Lecce during the late 18th century, when a chef decided to use the ingredients left over from larger torte, to create a smaller cake.

The name allegedly comes from the word 'pasticcio' or 'mishap'.

A word of warning - channel all the willpower you have. Too many of these parcels of cream and sugar will likely result in you collapsing from a heart attack at an unfashionably young age.