When you think of Italian restaurants, many items come to mind. From the finest wines to endless pasta dishes, the mouth-watering options are endless. Fresh, warm bread to accompany your parmigiana, and let’s not forget about the desserts. No matter what brings you to PastAmore, you can be confident that your cravings will be met. But before we get too far into the endless options, let us circle back to one of our customer favorites, desserts. Or, more specifically, the cannoli.
A bit of history.
Arguably Italy’s most famous dessert, the cannoli, comes with quite the history. Sure, there are several stories concerning the true origins of this delicious treat. However, according to most accounts, the cannoli originated in Caltanissetta, a Sicilian city in Italy. However, the cannoli is not strictly Italian. Instead, this multi-century old dessert was crafted from the various cultures and people that inhabited the city.
No matter which story you follow, the roots of the cannoli have a strong Arabic influence. Somewhere between 827 and 1091, the cannoli emerged with many ingredients native to the culture – almonds and sugar cane, for example. Of course, being in Caltanissetta, the cannoli is associated with Sicily. Further, the word ‘canna’ refers to the river reeds found around the city, and as the story goes, pastry chefs used these reeds to form the shape of their dough.
While this dessert was a popular one, in its early days, you could only find cannoli during Carnevale. Celebrated 40 days before Easter, Italy’s Carnevale became an official celebration in 1296. Costumes, parades, horse races, and food – these were days celebrated among every city and every person in the country.
Traditions and New Versions
If you’re familiar with the cannoli, chances are, you’ve already experienced the dessert the way it was meant to be served. These fried tubular dough shells are filled with sweet, creamy ricotta cheese, almonds and drizzled with honey. However, during the peak of American immigration, many of the ingredients were not available. It was during this time that mascarpone became the staple in cannoli creation.
And, when one change happens, there are always more to follow. The cannoli of today’s world offers endless possibilities limited only by the chef’s imagination. From chocolate chips to crushed nuts, plain to fruit-infused fillings, the variations are vast! Here at PastAmore, we like to combine tradition with a bit of today. So, if you’re looking for a bit of Italian tradition with a twist, be sure to try our creamy ricotta chocolate chip filling – we promise you will be back for more!
While many Italian restaurants offer cannoli on their dessert menu, it can be tricky to find an authentically created dessert. At PastAmore, we take great pride in serving the most authentic Italian cuisine in the Merrimack region. From house specialties to the traditional desserts you’d expect to find, our menu will not disappoint!
Visit PastAmore at 103 Route 101A in Amherst, NH – the number one of all Italian Restaurants in Southern New Hampshire.