The pasticciotto dilemma

As far as dilemmas go there are more important ones, I’m willing to grant that. Just to name a few – crunchy vs. creamy peanut butter, summer at the sea or in the mountains, Android or iOS, soft or crispy taco and so on.

But down in Maglie – in the deepest deepest part of southeastern Italy – they have a dilemma all their own, something that divides families, leads to unlikely alliances and has been known to cause the occasional dustup.

Any Magliese, and I suspect there are many reading this right now, knows what I’m talking about as I could only be referring to the pasticciotto dilemma…more specifically, should I get my pasticciotto from Fracasso (also known as Policarita) or Caffè d’Aragona.

First a little primer for the uninitiated. The pasticciotto is a custard-filled pastry common in Lecce and the surrounding Salento area that develops down to the tip of Italy’s heel. The Leccese take their pasticciotti quite seriously and if you doubt that, have a look at this. Still not convinced…there is a Facebook page. Granted there is a Facebook page for everything, I mean everything, though the pasticciotto has gotten 35,000 likes.

For those of you in Boston, Mike’s Pastry has been churning out pasticciotti for some time. His are smaller than what you normally get in Lecce and Salento. We’ll give him a pass for having misspelled pasticciotto though I can’t vouch for the taste (if anybody out there has been to Mike’s please do fill us in).

Back to our dilemma. Since it is not reasonable for a person hoping to live beyond middle age to have more than one pasticciotto a day, one must decide between Fracasso and Caffè d’Aragona (all other producers in Maglie are to be considered inferior and therefore not to be considered). Fracasso’s crust is sweeter, just perfect, while the custard inside though excellent does not give you that blissful perfection feel once you have eaten it. Caffè d’Aragona’s outside is almost too thick and not quite as good, but the cream is magnificently smooth and ever so slightly better than its cross-town rival.

And hence the dilemma.

If, like me, you already have too many dilemmas in your daily life and can’t deal with having to make another decision, you can do as I do when I go to Maglie. Monday, Wednesday, Friday pasticciotto from Fracasso and Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday from Caffé Aragona. Sunday I leave open just to show how wonderfully flexible I can be.

As for those other dilemmas mentioned at the top, I’m for crunchy, sea, Android (though at present I’m using a Nokia with Windows Phone) and soft.

So what’s the big dilemma in your life?

2 thoughts on “The pasticciotto dilemma

  1. What matters is inside, appart from the fact that the Caffe d Aragona one looks more traditional, so I d go for it. Policaro (sounds better than Fracasso) could provide a Fruttone, couldn’t it? You could also send some samples: I promise you a briefing on microeconomic tradeoffs theory in exchange.

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