On this day, National Cannoli Day, it’s once again time to treat yourself! But treat yourself right, and get the best, freshest cannoli you can find. If you’re in Chicago, this means a cannoli from D’amato’s Bakery. (DO NOT, under any circumstances, settle for some old, soggy, custard-filled nonsense trying to call itself a cannoli. just, no.)
D’amatos makes their cannoli every day (along with their Italian bread, cookies, pizzas, everything). The shell is crunchy, the citrus-scented ricotta is perfectly dotted with chocolate chips, the ends are decorated with green peanuts. I remember watermelon rind? being mixed in with the ricotta when I was little, but today’s cannoli are rind-free and I’m just fine with that. You can also order chocolate-free cannoli, but then, why would you do that?
First clue that everything is baked in-house every day? The bread piled in the front window. Second clue? The delicious smells as you open the door and see sheets of focaccia and trays of cookies letting you decide how you want your chocolate chips delivered (hey chocolate chips inside vs chocolate chips outside – these things make a difference!). Third clue? Just look through the wall window behind the cash register and see the ancient oven hard at work! I wish I had that window (and the treats that come through it) in my kitchen…..