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The Sicilian cannolo

The Sicilian cannolo

If anyone were to ask me what is the dessert that everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) in Sicily know, without any doubt I would answer: cannolo!

With ricotta, cream, chocolate … With chocolate chips, with pistachio grains, with candied fruit … It is always time for cannolo!

A bit of history about Sicilian cannolo

Even this dessert, as well as granita, arrived in Sicily during the Arab domination. It seems that the harem girls, to pass the time, devoted themselves to the preparation of desserts, above all. One of their experiments would be, in fact, cannolo, with evident allusion to the qualities of the sultan …🤭 

There is, however, a second theory about the birth of the Sicilian cannolo. Many people believe that the recipe was created in Caltanissetta in a cloistered nunnery to celebrate the carnival.

Arabs or nuns, who cares!? What matters is the result!

The origin of the name “cannolo”

And now another thing that you may not know. The waffle was once prepared by wrapping the dough around a piece of sugar cane. The Sicilian cannolo takes its name from the cane. Today we use metal pipes, which are not at all dangerous for our health, unlike the cane (or you can buy empty ready waffles at the supermarket).

Then fry! Yes, the waffles are fried, not baked. And here we reconnect to what my grandfather always said. You don’t know what I’m talking about? Take a look at the article on Giardini Naxos ;)

The differences between Eastern Sicily and Western Sicily

But we do not all do cannolo in the same way. In Palermo, they use sheep ricotta and decorate with candied cherries and orange peel; in Modica, on the other hand, they prefer cow ricotta (which has a more delicate flavor) and use chocolate chips or pistachio grains for the decoration.

If you want to taste more flavors, try the cannolicchi, which are mini cannoli :)

Do it as you want. You never say NO to cannolo!

Do I have to use a fork or a knife to eat a Sicilian cannolo?

Thanks to my job I can meet people from different parts of the world. I want to tell you, in particular, an episode dating back to a couple of years ago and connected to a group of foreign tourists. We offered them cooking classes during which I explained to them how to prepare the eggplant parmigiana and how to stuff a cannolo. I remember that one of them asked me he had to use a fork or a knife to eat it. :o :?: :!:

No, absolutely no. To eat a cannolo you only need two fingers :)

The cannolo scomposto

It is also true, however, that cannolo scomposto is now very widespread. What is it? It is nothing but a waffle made into coarse pieces stuffed with ricotta. Thanks to this new shape, chefs can indulge themselves and present cannolo in different and artistic forms.

I prefer the original shape of the cannolo, but I invite you to try both the classic and the modern version and to leave me a comment on your experience :)


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