THE BITE: Cannoli filled to order are a rare thing in Sheepshead Bay. As the demographics in the neighborhood have changed over the last decade, the number of shops offering cannoli declined. But fear not, V & S Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria (1723 Emmons Avenue) still makes old-school cannoli for only $3.00 per piece.
For those of you unaware of the cannolo, (cannoli is the plural form of the noun) a cannolo is a Sicilian pastry tube that is filled with cream. The shell, which becomes the tube, is made from a dough of flour, butter, sugar and other secret ingredients. The dough is formed into an oval, then wrapped around a specialized dough ring and fried, giving the cannolo shell its unique texture. Once the shell has cooled, a milk or cheese based filling is piped into the shell.
The cannolo filling is usually made from cow-milk ricotta in Italian-American restaurants and bakeries, but according to epicurious, “True Sicilian cannoli are made using fresh sheep’s-milk ricotta.” Other parts of Italy fill cannoli with a sweetened custard or even mascarpone cheese.
At V & S, they stay true to their Italian-American past and serve up a tasty, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, ricotta-based filling in each crunchy, cinnamon infused, cannolo tube. Cannoli are not a food that can be prepared in advance. They must be made to order. If a cannolo is allowed to sit, the moisture of the filling will destroy the crunch of the tube.
At V & S they know this and the cannoli are made to order. The sweet cream fills the tube completely, spilling out of each end. Unfortunately, they don’t make the cannolo tubes in house, but that’s a minor point when the final product is so delicious. Manga!
The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.