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Neapolitan Easter pie

An elaborate pie, pastiera is said to be older than Naples itself, first made by seven ancient Greek maidens as an offering to Parthenope, the siren who drowned in the Bay of Naples after her song failed to seduce Odysseus, and gave Naples its original name in the 6th century BC.

Pastiera's ingredients symbolize rebirth: flour and grains of wheat, renewed every spring; eggs the symbol of life; ricotta, made from the milk fed to lambs; plus wheat berries, candied fruits, sugar and orange water, tokens of the sweetness of spring. It's devilishly elaborate to make— each family jealously guards its own secret recipe.



Desserts and pastries

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by francescomucio