Italian Apple Rose Pastries
Laura Raccah and Joseph Matalon's family recipe for individual apple cakes that look like roses. Courtesy
From the purveyors behind the popular Italian cookies, "Mondo di Laura," a slice of Jewish Rome in NYC.
In the newest Eataly, the culinary marketplace of all things Italian, there’s a small slice of Jewish Rome.
Laura Raccah, a pastry chef, makes kosher artisanal cookies from fine ingredients, and sells them all over Italy – including train stations, from large glass containers -- and now in New York City. Last month, her husband Joseph Matalon was at Eataly, offering samples of several varieties of cookies make by “Mondo di Laura.”
Raccah was born in Rome; her parents are Jewish immigrants from Libya. As a child, she always enjoyed spending time with her grandmother in the kitchen, and began baking at a young age. She is inspired by the flavors of Libyan cooking, and now is passionate about flavors from different parts of the world. After culinary school in Italy, she also studied and worked in Tel Aviv, London and New York.
Her cookies come in four varieties including Pepita D’Or, gold coin, made from chocolate and Himalayan salt; Reggi di Sole, ray of sunshine, a biscuit with raisin, sesame and oatmeal and Giuly, a chocolate chip cookie from the recipe of her aunt Giuly. The cookies, made from quality ingredients, are free from milk and preservatives – and are certified kosher for the Orthodox Union.
“The cookies feel like homemade. For my wife, making cookies is an art, a form of creativity. It’s very joyful for us to make and sell cookies,” says Matalon, who helps his wife with marketing and design. He was born in Milan to Egyptian Jewish parents, and is a dealer of contemporary art. The cookies are available at Eataly and in the greenmarket at Union Square.
Raccah recalls that her grandmother would prepare holiday dishes many days in advance. “For each member of the family she used to make a different plate. You could feel by being with her the passion and enthusiasm in baking the dishes for the holiday as it was the best gift she could give us. She transmitted these feelings to me and I try to do my best to put the same energy in my business.”
They share a family recipe for individual apple cakes that look like roses. Try it out and if you happen to pass Eataly or the greenmarket, look out for Raccah's cookies. You won't regret it!