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Food

Pastry Break - Pasticceria Alati-Caserta

Posted by Emily / April 11, 2008

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Friends, last weekend was the pits. The sun was shining, the air was warm, people were smiling on the sidewalk, and I was stuck inside. I spent almost the entire weekend chipping away at a monstrous pile of work that should have been done a month ago. I swear, my backside has been permanently misshapen from having sat at my desk chair for too long.

Around 3 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, I was desperate for a break. And by break, I mean I needed some sugar ASAP. My roommate recommended her favorite high-energy snack: oatmeal with hot chocolate mix and peanut butter (she is literally a genius). But I was also desperate for photons, and I must admit I wanted to waste as much time as possible, so I decided to head out to Pasticeria Alati-Caserta near the Jean-Talon market.

When I got there, the place smelled amazing – like I’d just walked into a giant box of fresh cannoli.

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I knew what I wanted to get as soon I approached the counter: the code d’aragoste, or lobster tail. This creatively named confection has a flaky pastry crust surrounding a creamy ricotta cheese filling (it also comes with a cream filling). But beware – these pastries are about as big as a whole lobster. Not even my superhuman sweet tooth could knock off even half of one in a sitting (luckily, I had all night).
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The bakery also offers a wide selection of cookies and biscotti that really are better than what most Italian bakeries have. I often find Italian cookies to be too dry unless they’re dipped in a hot drink. But all of Alati-Caserta’s cookies can be eaten straight. The biscotti, which come in standard flavors like pistachio and chocolate-cranberry, have a soft, rich, rather un-biscotti-like texture. They would probably get harder after a day or two of sitting in the cookie jar, but mine never last that long.
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And then, there is the torta alla mandorla, or almond torte. This decadently sweet dessert was off-limits to me last Sunday. I knew that if indulged in just one sugary slice, I would have been hopping around my room like a crazy person for about fifteen minutes before abruptly crashing and falling asleep at my desk. And as much as my cat would have enjoyed the performance, I needed a more sustained sugar high.
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Here’s where the marzipan vegetables come in. Not only did they provide a delicious and convenient way to keep me typing into the wee hours, they are also super cute.
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Alati-Caserta offers lots of other treats, including cannoli (I doubt I could tell the difference between these and Roma’s, meaning they’re pretty darn good), and a lemon meringue tart (which tasted wonderful but neither traveled nor photographed well). A pound of cookies costs $13 and almost all of the pastries, including the marzipan produce and the cannoli, are $2.50. The code d’aragoste costs about $5, but my memory’s a bit fuzzy on that one and I can’t find my receipt.

Thanks to the yummy biscotti I’m munching on as I type (can chocolate crumbs cause a Mac to malfunction? I hope not), this weekend is shaping up to be a great deal more pleasant than last weekend!

Pasticceria Alati-Caserta
277 Dante
(514)271-3013
Hours: Monday 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday-Sunday 8am-6pm.
****cash only****

Discussion

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