The Birth of a Cannoli

5 Nov

I stopped by the Ferrara Bakery in Chicago, originally founded and operated by my maternal grandparents, Salvatore and Serafina Ferrara

IMG_5095

and now by my cousin Nella and her husband Bill.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Although I had stuffed hundreds of cannolis in my teenage years, a requirement of all granddaughters during the holidays, I don’t remember ever seeing the cannoli shells being made.  I was in for a treat.

Once the dough is mixed, it is put on the long work table – picture huge amounts of pizza-like dough, but brown from the spices and much, much heavier.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

After the bakers get the dough into a log shape, they cut it into large pieces

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

which are then flattened by hand, folded in half, and dusted with flour.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

The dough is then fed through a press, creating long, thin sheets which are dusted heavily to prevent sticking.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

A form is used to cut the shapes

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

which are then stacked and refrigerated overnight.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

The next day, the dough is rolled on metal tubes to create the cannoli shape

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

and then fried to perfection!

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Eventually, the cannoli shell is stuffed with homemade cannoli cream

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

and there you have it – an authentic Italian cannoli, made just like they still do in Italy.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Delicious – before or after you order your lunch!

2210 W Taylor St, Chicago,  ©Blogginginitaly.com

2210 W Taylor St, Chicago,
©Blogginginitaly.com

While some things have changed since my grandparents’ days, most notably the addition of a full menu lunch, the handmade pastries and cookies look, smell and taste the same. After all, why mess with a good thing!

Ciao,

Judy

 

 

 

 

13 Responses to “The Birth of a Cannoli”

  1. Nella November 5, 2014 at 7:01 PM #

    Great Job Judy !!!

    Like

  2. bestson808 November 5, 2014 at 7:45 PM #

    Aloha Judy,

    Oh how I miss the bakery and your story brings back the great taste of “The Cannoli’s”

    If I could only convince your cousins to open up a shop in Waikiki. 🙂

    I miss the restaurant too especially the Pasta e Fagioli and the Minestrone.

    Like

    • blogginginitaly November 6, 2014 at 7:29 AM #

      I’d ship you some but I’m not sure they’d survive the trip!

      Like

      • bestson808 November 6, 2014 at 1:48 PM #

        Aloha Judy,

        Overnight Air would work 🙂

        Charles on Oahu

        Like

  3. Loren November 5, 2014 at 9:02 PM #

    This is not only visually pleasing (great pics!!), it is extremely fascinating! I can practically smell the cookies now and taste the cannoli filling. I must get my hands on some soon. Thank you so much for another great post!!

    Like

  4. Jean November 5, 2014 at 9:27 PM #

    If only you weren’t thousands of miles away. Yum.
    I’m a newbie. Did I miss your recommendation for a bakery in Cortona?

    Like

    • blogginginitaly November 6, 2014 at 7:36 AM #

      Well, now you know where to go when you visit Chicago. As for Cortona, most places that serve morning coffee also can offer you a freshly baked cornetto (croissant).

      Like

      • Jean November 6, 2014 at 6:54 PM #

        My sister in Toronto who goes to Chicago for knitting conventions will love this place. Great family tradition!

        Like

  5. Serajean November 6, 2014 at 8:11 AM #

    Judy thank you for this blog- I really enjoyed reading it – I agree, there aren’t cannoli like the Original Ferrara cannoli- Serajean

    Like

    • blogginginitaly November 6, 2014 at 8:29 AM #

      Thanks, Sera. It’s funny that I never saw the shells being made before. And, I must give credit where credit is due, we were all great cannoli stuffers, never leaving a void in the middle!

      Like

  6. Chuck November 6, 2014 at 11:51 AM #

    Wonderful post! Thanks Judy!

    Like

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