Pecchia Pasticceria

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If Pecchia were in Rome or Florence it could be famous. Instead, this charmingly humble pastry shop has two locations, one in the historical coastal hill town Massa Maritima, and the other in Follonica, a formerly industrial beach town that buzzes in the summer and quietly hums along during the year.

Pecchia does not have a prestigious location in either destination. It isn’t on the main piazza, nor principal street. But they have been bringing in loyal locals since 1963. Pasta Frolla, short crust pastry, is the secret to their success. You can see it, in the rich golden color, smooth compact texture, and a subtle shine. It is crumbly and soft with rich, buttery flavor. It forms the background to excellent crostata, smeared with thick layers of tangy blackberry, apricot or cherry jam. It forms a decadent pocket for thin slices of baked apple slicked with apricot jam or better yet creamy smooth ricotta blended with just a hint of sugar, and bits of crisp sugar sprinkles on top. That same ricotta when baked on top of the excellent pastry and topped with chocolate chips makes perhaps the best alteration to cheesecake ever invented.

Bypass the semi-squashed croissants and avoid the dry muffin sized cakes.  But if you want something a bit more elaborate than the humble crostata – try the Diplomatico, a hard to find layered confection similar to a napoleon, with two crisp layers of puff pastry sandwiching rich, custardy pastry cream, and a slice of pan di spagna which though visible to see, conveys only a sweet dose of rum syrup, and no cakey heaviness or an almost buoyant Baba al Rhum that has absorbed a surprising amount of super sweet rum syrup.

The apple tart makes a wonderful dressed-up dessert for a party, as well as a perfect snack.  More French,  than Italian, that buttery pastry forms the perfect base for a thin layer of sweet custard topped with thinly sliced apples.

Every so often new pastries appear , such as a recent, chocolate sfogliatelle withs rich chocolate puff pastry wrapped around thinly sliced sweet baked pears. Creative, different, and delicious!

Pecchia also makes a superlative creamy cappuccino. The cappuccino and a pastry here makes a stellar combination, hard to beat anywhere else, even in the bigger cities.

Signature Dishes: Crostata di More (Blackberry Jam Tart)
Get It!: Crostata di Ricotta (Ricotta Tart with Chocolate Chips), Anything with pasta frolla
Chocolate Cravings: Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cup with Amarena Cherry and Meringue

Via Matteotti 8, Follonica. tel: + 39 0566 41555

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