Holy Cannoli! The Ins & Outs of this Classic Dessert

If you’ve never tried a cannoli — after reading this you might wanna grab one the next time you scan through our Chompie’s dessert menu!

The cannoli is one of the most mouth-watering desserts that ever came out of Sicily. There are so many amazing variations of this classic dessert that make it a lovable favorite for many.

Let’s bite into all the details of what makes the cannoli a must-order!

What is a Cannoli and What Makes it Unique?

Originally called “cannolo” which translates to “little tube” given its shape, the cannoli is a timeless Sicilian pastry. The pastry shell is cut up and rolled into the shape of a small tube then baked or fried and filled with cream cheese, ricotta, or impastata cheese along with any creative topping you can imagine. 

Traditionally, cannoli recipes would be followed using fried pastry dough filled with sweet ricotta cheese, candied fruit, and chocolate filling. The flavors and textures work perfectly together. The combination of crunchy, smooth, creamy, sweet, and rich makes the cannoli dessert a household favorite in Sicily and across the globe.

A Cannoli History Lesson

We can’t discuss the rich history of the cannoli without connecting it to the wide variety of cultural influences that inhabited Sicily. There was a time in history when the Arabs ruled the island of Sicily. 

Two competing explanations for the origin of the cannoli stem from this time period. 

One story explains it originates from within the royal Arab harem. An Arab prince had many concubines and, as the women would often compete for the most recognition and acceptance of the prince, they were known for spending time creating amazing meals and desserts for the prince. This led to the creative development of the first cannoli filled with ricotta, almonds and honey.

The second tale explaining the origin of the cannoli takes place outside of a Sicilian castle in a convent. Nuns at the convent wanted to contribute to the local celebration of Carnevale which takes place all across Italy and Sicily before Lent. They didn’t have many ingredients but used what they had to make something that would taste and look amazing. They filled the cannoli pastry shell with ricotta, sugar, chocolate and almonds. 

Whichever tale is more accurate, Sicilian historians agree that women are credited for the cannoli’s creation near the city of Caltanissetta between the years of 827 and 1091. The ingredients used in the classic style cannoli are of Arabic origin, making historians believe that it was created during the Arab reign on the island.

A Timeless Italian Dessert

Italians know good food and even better desserts. The cannoli is a timeless favorite appearing on menus and at celebrations everywhere. You’re able to put your own spin on it and use the fillings and topping you like when you begin perfecting your own homemade cannoli recipe. One Italian chef says the trick is to leave the sugar and ricotta mixture in the fridge overnight to 24 hours for the best texture. Either way, it is a must-try if you’ve never had one. They are worth every bite!

Chompie’s is Serving New York Eats and Deli Favorites for the Whole Family!

Whether you’re in the mood for a pastrami sandwich or looking for a sweet treat, such as the renowned cannoli, Chompie’s is your Jewish go-to in the Phoenix metro area! Since 1979, Chompie’s has been the restaurant of choice for Arizonians looking for an authentic menu that serves items like latkes, matzo ball soup, knishes, and so much more.

Additionally, we are known for our New York-style menu serving classic deli items like bagels, mile-high sandwiches, and colossal Reubens. We are proud of our long history of service and look forward to creating experiences you will not forget.