For some time, I’ve been in the habit of taking different clusters of my peeps out to Maple Ridge for Saturday chick adventures. The star attraction is my favourite boutique thrift store, the high-end offshoot of Cythera Transition House Society, called Cythera Unique Boutique. This store ‘high-grades’ the donations made to its more traditional store, and retails them in a very aesthetically pleasing and professional atmosphere. Each turn around the shop reveals more items that you didn’t even know you ‘needed’ until you spotted them.
The details of the thrift itinerary have evolved as we have all discovered new Maple Ridge attractions together. Generally, we meet at the original Cythera store to drop off our donations, then hop over to the boutique for a good spend, then over to Roots Natural Foods for a grocery shop. A few weeks ago, the Maple Ridge farmers’ market was added to the roster. As was a decent sushi joint.
But the heart of the day is now the bakery across from our donation stop, and just a few doors down from Roots. Formerly Crumbs Bakery, Delizie Italiane Bakery & Bistro was born in 2008, when ‘Amalfi coasters’ Daniele and Rosangela Atte took over the spot, which features deli items, baked goods, and warm foods, along with cafe-style beverages. The space offers a decent amount of seating, and has buzzed with energy on the last two Saturdays when I went to worship at the altar of sfogliatella.
What is sfogliatella you ask! I soooo want to tell you. On the first Saturday, I ordered this pastry, based solely on its interesting shape: kind of a multi-layered shell. Had no idea how to eat the thing. Biting into it didn’t seem like the way to go. I decided that the most pleasing way to fall upon the crispy unit was to tear off the pointy bit (which I have dubbed ‘the nose’), and then to keep tearing the pastry layers toward the wider end. Inside the shell is a subtly orange-scented ricotta filling. Heaven.
A week later, I was STOKED, and ready for my dose of sfogliatella. No dice. Sigh. But then! Owner Daniele offered to bake some up while we waited! While one buddy enjoyed an incredible looking Italian spin on eggs benny (toasted ciabatta layered with Italian sausage, poached eggs, and tomato basil sauce, served alongside hash browns), I busied my cakehole with a fresh Italian doughnut and a chocolate-dipped shell cookie.
Well! There is no describing the sensory experience of a warm sfogliatella, but I will try: buttery, multi-dimensional, exquisite… bordering on sexual. I am now ruined for the room temperature version. Sigh.
Do the thrift store run. Start at Delizie. When you’ve finished shopping, return there to grab some take-home treats. Repeat weekly.
These special pastries are only available on weekends, but there are tons of other amazing choices all week long!
For more details on the miracle that is sfogliatella, click here and watch the video of the hardcore Italian nonna actually cranking out the things. Not for amateurs!
Delizie Italiane Bakery & Bistro
22266 Dewdney Trunk Road, Maple Ridge
(and they cater, folks)