While Italian food is known for being rich in carbs and pasta, hot bread and soup, and fresh veggies and cheeses, Italians know just as well how to serve a dessert. At Giolitti Deli, we make sure to stock our favorite Italian staples, which means we always include a cannoli on our dessert menu. If you don’t have a familiarity with Italian culture, you may not really understand what a cannoli is. Sure, it’s sweet, rich, and easy to eat on-the-go. But where did it come from, and why do its fantastic flavors taste so great together? If you would like to know a little more about your favorite Italian treat, read on for a brief history of the cannoli. We’ll see you at your next visit to Giolitti Deli in Annapolis, Maryland – with a fresh cannoli ready for you!
Wait, What Is a Cannoli?
In case you haven’t had the pleasure of trying a cannoli yet, you may be wondering what they are. This dessert consists of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, which are filled with a sweet, creamy filling containing ricotta. They can range in size from finger-size to nearly fist-sized! Because they hail from the Italian island of Sicily, in Italy, the dessert is referred to as “cannoli siciliani.”
The Arrival of Sugar in Sicily
This simple treat can trace its origins back to the Middle Ages! In the ninth century, Arabs brought sugar to Sicily, which changed the sweeteners used in confectionery sweets. Previously, honey was used to sweeten treats. The creamy ricotta cheese used to fill a cannoli is thus sweetened with sugar, making for an excellent dessert.
The term “cannolo,” technically the singular term for cannoli, is a diminutive version of the word “canna,” which is a cane-like reed similar to a stalk of sugarcane. It appears that the cannoli tubes were invented in western Sicily, possibly in Palermo. They became associated with springtime celebrations of Carnevale, or “Fat Tuesday,” because the sheep produce more milk in the spring when their grazing pastures are lush.
The Perfect Cannoli
Ideally, the crust of the cannoli would be very thin, which is more challenging to make. Additionally, the tubes would then be filled immediately before serving, with the cream cold but not freezing. Sometimes chefs will mix in candied fruits such as lemon, orange, citron, and cherry with the cream. Some prefer to add pistachios or chocolate chips for extra sweetness. At Giolitti Deli, we offer cannolis with sliced almonds and chocolate chips in mini and regular sizes. What will you prefer?
Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli
Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!
Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!