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The Sicilian cannolo. A piece of Sicilian history


A crunchy wafer and a heart of fresh ricotta that melts in your mouth. Those who set foot into Sicily certainly should not miss the opportunity to taste a cannolo, the most famous and most delicious local dessert of the island. Sicilian cannoli, those prepared as tradition dictates, are 15-20 centimeters of confectionery ecstasy and can be seen as a summation of the region: the waffle recalls the earth burned by the sun; the filling preserves all the scents of the island.

The origin of the cannolo
Cannoli have ancient origins, so ancient that its history often becomes a legend and is lost in the mists of time.
What is certain is that at the beginning the dessert was prepared for the occasion of the carnival, but soon it was understood that it was a real shame to be able to enjoy this delicacy only once a year.
It seems that the cannolo was born in Caltanissetta, inspired by an ancient Roman recipe reinterpreted by the Arabs who once occupied the city with their harems.
Legend has it that it was the emir's beautiful wives who invented the dessert.

How the real Sicilian cannoli are made
Describing cannolo without having one there, ready to taste, is a real cruelty.
The dessert is made up of a crunchy tube-shaped wafer that contains a delicious sheep's milk ricotta, to which various ingredients are added, from Bronte pistachio to chocolate chips.
In Palermo, the dessert has the ends embellished with two candied cherries and the back is garnished with a slice of orange peel.
In the eastern part of the island, however, it is sprinkled with a grain of hazelnuts or pistachios. It is also necessary to make a distinction between the refined cannolo of the city, with the finest and most frothy ricotta, and the more “authentic” one from the country, filled with a dense ricotta, much less processed. What is the best? It is a matter of taste and, to find out, it is necessary to taste them all.

Where to eat cannoli in Sicily?
Everywhere. But if you want to go without fail you have to go to the small village of Piana degli Albanesi, in the province of Palermo, where the cannolo festival takes place. And while you are in the area, you can visit the historic Pasticceria Oscar in Palermo. On the island of Lipari, however, there is an equally delicious pastry shop - the Pasticceria d’Ambra - where you can enjoy excellent cannoli. With each bite it will be like savoring a piece of Sicily.

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