Where can I find Sfogliatelle and Coda d'aragosta?

Categories: Ask the Critic

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I've been in and out of the Cities for around thirty years, with relatives in in Chicago and the Eastern Seaboard. Two things that I've been unable to locate are Sfogliatelle (clam) and Coda d'aragosta (lobster tail), the signature pastries of the Italian neighborhoods. Making them takes five working days--from what I've googled on the net--and there are some Italian bakeries in St. Paul, but no one has owned up to baking them. Do you know a bakery that still makes them in the Cities or am I out of luck?

That's a tough one, as there isn't much in the way of Italian baking going on in the Little Italy-less Twin Cities and Sfogliatelle and Coda d'aragosta aren't household names in the U.S. outside of big-city, Italian-American strongholds.

I called my two best bets, Buon Giorno Express in St. Paul and Buon Giorno Italia in Lilydale, and came up empty on both counts. (They do offer cannoli, tiramisu, and Italian wedding cookies, though.) The woman at Italia told me that they'd been in the Italian food business in Minnesota for about 30 years, and hadn't seen them offered. She also said they tried to have them shipped from bakeries in Chicago or New York, but that resulted in products that arrived either frozen or not-fresh--not of a high-enough quality to be able to sell.

Anybody know of a local source of Sfogliatelle and Coda d'aragosta, or is this guy going to have to head to the kitchen or get out of town?

Have a question for City Pages food critic Rachel Hutton? Send it to hotdish@citypages.com.

Location Info

I Nonni

981 Sibley Memorial Highway, West St. Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant

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