Brunch

All it takes is just one bite: You will never forget the Fugettie

A soft pastry base filled in with a sweet filling, the fugettie is of Dutch and Portuguese origin, and is surprisingly a rarity in Sri Lanka. This week we spoke with “Fugettie” dessert shop Founder Sabrina Fernando, who has been preparing this dessert for years now and has expanded upon its original fillings – sweet preserve of pumpkin and cashew or pineapple – to a multitude of flavours. 

A part-time venture for Sabrina, she said that while she wouldn’t say that she comes from a food industry background professionally, her interest in food and people has strongly stuck with her from a very young age.

Sharing how she first got to making this rather unique dessert item, she said that “it has been very popular amongst my mum’s side of the family for generations and that’s how I have taken over the tradition of making fugetties”. She said that the fugettie has been very special to her growing up as a child: “For many years I have been watching my aunt and mum make fugetties for orders, and since I had a liking towards cooking, I always knew that I wanted to make the fugettie known amongst more people rather than just a limited clientele. Also, it makes me extremely happy to see the satisfaction of many clients when they see a fugettie, as making fugetties is very time-consuming.” 

Talking about what makes the fugettie so unique, she said: “It’s because it’s such a time-consuming little dessert that bursts into so many flavours once you take a bite. The combination of an unsweetened, soft, buttery pastry base paired with a sweet filling, just works magic over a cup of tea or coffee.”

We can only assume how difficult it must be to prepare these, as the pastry is incredibly delicate and it holds its perfectly firm, almost biscuit-like consistency right until you bite into it, which is when it crumbles and beautifully melts in your mouth. Trying out almost all of the flavours Sabrina has available, we have to say it was impossible to pick a favourite. 

Currently Sabrina offers a number of flavours – pineapple, pumpkin preserve, date and cashew, custard, chocolate ganache, red velvet, peanut butter, and Nutella. We tried just about every one of these, all except the red velvet, and they were all delicious. It really stands out due to the soft pastry casing that holds the filling, which actually has a very mild taste to it. Therefore, it greatly complements whatever filling it holds. 

The chocolate ganache was a notable highlight, but only because we love the darker, more intense flavours when it comes to sweets. Although, the custard one was also an absolute treat considering the extreme texture contrast between the pastry casing and the soft custard.

The fugettie is an ideal tea/coffee time snack, and because it’s so aesthetically pleasing, it would be the ideal gift for anyone.

Sabrina has been supplying fugetties to the Dutch Burgher Union for over six years. However, she only started her – now quite popular – Instagram page in January 2021, which was followed by a pop-up sale at Home Bargains in February and a pop-up sale at Barefoot Garden Café in March, and she said that the response has been fantastic since she started her online platform. “The support I have received from Barefoot Garden Café and Home Bargains for my pop-up sales early on this year has been a massive boost for sales. The way I get the word around is through Instagram, and a lot of friends and family,” she said.

Sharing with us her plans for the future, Sabrina said that she would really love to open up a fugettie store where clients could come and pick up fugetties on the go whenever they liked and of course to improve and expand on her ever growing list of flavors. 

Instagram: @fuge_ttie