WHAT IS CANNOLI?
Can·no·li [kuh-noh-lee] plural for cannolo. An Italian pastry consisting of a thin tubular shell stuffed with a sweet cream or cheese filling, often containing nuts, fruit and chocolate.
Italian Cannoli can be dated back 2000 years, first arriving with the "Saracen" occupied Italy. The "Saracen" are said to have heavily influenced Italian cuisine. Cannoli were historically prepared as a treat during Carnevale, the festival season which occurs immediately before Lent, Carnevale literally meaning to "put away the meat." The festival is celebrated with parades and masquerades, similar to carnevales celebrated throughout the world, including Mardi Gras, in New Orleans.
Often eaten at Italian weddings, possibly as a symbol of fertility; one legend assigns their origin to the harem of Caltanissetta. The dessert eventually became a year-round staple throughout Italy and the US. Much like pasta sauce, chili or an old family recipe, cannoli can be made in various ways, and has many steps in the preparation process.
Different regions of Italy, as well as different regions in the US will make the cannoli in similar but different ways, depending on the ingredients available. The cannoli made at Holy Cannoli is a hand made tempered cream based cannoli.