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Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson serves up the best info and tips on Northwest food, cooking, dining and restaurants.

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July 7, 2008 12:30 PM

Holy moley, where's the cannoli?

Posted by Nancy Leson


Jim Somborovich wrote complaining about his Old Hunger:

"I'm a long time Seattle resident originally from Detroit, Michigan. One of the food items that I miss from Detroit is a good cannoli. Yes, we have cannoli on the West Coast, but they really aren't the same as Detroit's. Maybe you know what I mean? I have been disappointed in the cannoli I've tried here and in San Francisco. A relative says the same about the Las Vegas area. Any suggestions?"

Sure Jim: Move to South Philly. Only kidding. Sort of. And yes, I think I know what you mean, because I, too, miss the cannoli I remember from my youth. I grew up in Philadelphia where Italian bakeries were a dime a dozen. Cannoli -- that crackling pastry! the delicate, lightly sweetened ricotta filling! -- remains a taste-memory I cherish.

The closest thing I've tasted to those simple sweets hereabouts were the cannoli at La Vita e Bella in Belltown. They're sold at its sister restaurant, Mondello in Magnolia. And co-owner Corino Bonjrada's mom, Enza Sorrentino, also offers traditional Sicilian-style cannoli at her restaurant Sorrentino, on Queen Anne Hill. I've had some especially memorable cannoli at Serious Pie , though those are tiny, and probably not what you're after. They taste like ricotta-stuffed rugalach, offering me something even better: two childhood taste memories in one!

Anybody else want to tell Jim where to go for a good cannoli?

In the meantime, Jim (and anyone else longing for a sweet, simple taste of Italy), here's a dessert tip for you: Go to a decent supermarket or cheese shop and buy a small container of fresh ricotta cheese. Then get your hands on some chestnut honey, like the kind sold at specialty shops under the brand name Rustichella d'Abruzzo . Now, drizzle some honey over the ricotta: it's kind of like eating cannoli filling straight-up. And if you can find some Amaretti cookies to crumble over the bowl, all the better:



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