Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pusties, Pusties, Oy, Oy, Oy.

This will be my last Utica/Rome centric post, I promise. You can't blame me though, so much to cover out of a 3 week stay (and I didn't even take pictures of half the food I shoved down my gullet). Have you ever heard of a Pustie? A pustie is a small, custard filled pie that is one of the ubiquitous confections available out in the greater Utica/Rome area. The moniker "pustie," I have been led to believe, is a corruption of the Italian "pasticiotti," which is pretty much the same thing.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to test out a few pusties from the venerable establishment that is the Franklin Hotel in Rome. On a side note, go there if you are ever in the area. Get an order of the greens Vescio, an order of the hot peppers, and the beans and greens. These items along with the complimentary bread make quite the nice lunch.

The pusties that look like boobs are straight vanilla custard and the ones with the stripe are a vanilla custard/lemon hybrid. Aren't they pretty?

Anyhow, I broke one of the vanilla ones in two to examine the innards.

In the middle of the flaky pie crust we have a fairly stiff, pale yellow custard. The flavor is not too eggy, with an assertive sweetness, and a faint vanilla/citrus flavor. Thoroughly enjoyable. This is a simple dessert with a no frills appeal. Good pie crust encasing delicious custard, how can you go wrong there? The lemon ones were good, but why mess with success? Go for the vanilla.

I hear that various pusties are available locally at Bella Napoli (to include chocolate ones). I think I recall seeing these, and they are somewhat of a smaller creature than the real deal. Anyhow, yet another regional delicacy to be celebrated.


  1. I have thoroughly enjoyed your Utica/Rome dispatches. I grew up in Jefferson County, but was never aware of all the regional delicacies to the southeast.
    Thanks for your diligent reporting.

  2. Pusties were one of my most favorite things to eat growing up. Next time you are in the Utica area stop over to the Florentine bakery their pusties are AMAZING!

  3. something i love about new york: you can travel to rome, greece, egypt and mexico ALL WITHOUT LEAVING THE STATE. mind blowing.

  4. Just so we know, these are not strictly a Utica/Rome, NY item. Utica seems to try to claim the credit for many "creations." I was eating these from pastry shops in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and yes, in other parts of New York, including Fulton which is a fair distance from Utica over 40 years ago. As well, if it was an "invention/creation" of those self-proclaimed amazing chefs of the "greater Utica area" there would not be an Italian word for them. Being Italian-American I can assure you we don't create words to add to our language to cater to upstarts.

    1. Thank you for the self righteous indignation. Did I say creation? We have them here in Albany County too... What is the Italian word for them? Is it "Pustie?" I thought it was pasticiotti. A form of pasticiotti called the "pustie" is a specialty of the Utica area. No one claims they were created there. You sir, are an idiot. One of those special kinds of idiots who gets mad about this sort of thing.


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