Puff pastry camels in Varese

Puff pastry camel Varese

We are in Varese for a couple days, north of Milano, near the Swiss border. One of the reasons we chose Varese was the Sacro Monte with a mountain walk, the other reasons was the camelli di pasta sfoglia. Yes, puff pastry camels, only made in Varese these days before the Epiphany (6 January), in honour of the three wise men. Baked in puff pastry and slightly sugar glazed, they are a very local specialty. So we hopped on the Italo train from Rome to Milano yesterday, then the local train to Varese.

Via delle capelleToday we went to Sacro Monte. You are meant to walk uphill, past fourteen chapels with the rosary, but not being Catholic or sporty, we just got the bus to the top and walked down. There is a funicular, not always open, so then it is bus C from the centro to Prima Capella (to walk up) or Sacro Monte (to walk down).

image Starting the descent.


Lovely day, and lovely views over Lago di Varese and snowclad mountains (some of which were Swiss). Lots of families and dog walkers, it was all rather jolly, though more hilly than mountainous. I particularly enjoyed the posters commemorating the 30th anniversary of Pope John Paul II visiting Sacro Monte, with photos of him and of the rapturous onlookers.


Back in town, I was thrilled to find the legendary puff pastry camels of Varese, only appearing for the days up to Epiphany. And even the small ones are HUGE! We will get some tomorrow to take back to Rome on Sunday, and we bought one for afternoon tea today. I am very curious to try it.

I had forgotten today was Friday…… Two weeks of holidays is wondeful! As we are still on holidays and not at home cooking, I am bringing a tray of these puff pastry Epiphany canels from Varese for Fiesta Friday #49. Happy New Year to all! And many thanks to our hosts Mr Fitz @CookingwithMrFitz, Kaila @GF Life 24/7 and of course, Angie @thenovicegardener.

UPDATE 5.1.2015: See these wonderful camels made by Rowena @Rubber Slippers in Italy:  are they not fabulous? The camel, the cake, and the crown (part I)

Fiesta Friday

19 thoughts on “Puff pastry camels in Varese

    1. We tasted the legs…. It is a very light puff pastry, excellent lamination, with a slight sugar glaze. Not very sweet, but nicely baked. Some bakeries have stuffed ones, and we saw some with jam as well. Nice to try the classic one though!

  1. Thank you so much for bringing your travels to this week’s fiesta. I love the puff pastry camels, such an interesting shape. And your journey to Sacro Monte looks like just my kind of trip! Happy 2015!!

    1. Happy New Year, and thanks! We are heading back to Rome today, with a stop at the pasticceria this morning to procure camels for dessert tonight.

  2. Isn’t it just wonderful to have 2 weeks off?! My husband was scheduled to take off from Dec 24th to the 6th of January, but had to go in a couple days in the last week of December. In any case, it has been a beautiful time lazing about in this unusually warmish weather.

    Must add this camel-shaped treat to my list of things to check out. Never heard of them before your post!

    1. Absolutely!! Back in Rome now with mountains of laundry so have taken one last day to unpack from various trips and and make a dent in laundry piles. Gorgeous sunny day here.

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