[Photographs: Jacqueline Raposo]

The cannoli is a beast of a pastry for bakeries—unless you fill them fresh-to-order, the shell can get tough or soggy with the weight of so much sweetened ricotta sitting around inside. And while the Pistachio Cannoli ($2.50) at S&J Bakery and Cafe is no exception to the risk (they're sitting chilled by pretty dozens in raspberry and traditional flavors as well), the ones we picked up were definitely not soggy. And while the shell definitely wasn't light and crunchy like one at the peak of freshness, it wasn't impossible to cut or bite through like some failing counterparts, either.

What we dug about this version, specifically, was the strong nutty flavor in the filling, which was nicely balance both on a sweet scale and in density. The dark chocolate trim on both ends helped seal it all in, and the generous amount of crushed pistachios added a pleasant amount of salt. While maybe we should have let it sit for a bit to let the chilled temperature come down, it did make for a cooling sensation on a warm summer Sunday, making a pretty dense sweet somehow a touch lighter.

S&J Bakery is located on the outer skirts of Findlay Market, and with ample seating, strong coffee and a mess of breads and pastries baked in-house, it's a nice spot for some people watching and something sweet.

About the author: Jacqueline Raposo writes about people who make food and cooks a lot of stuff. Read more at www.WordsFoodArt.com or tweet her out at @WordsFoodArt.

related venues
S&J Bakery and Cafe 113 W Elder St, Cincinnati, OH
Findlay Market 1801 Race St, Cincinnati, OH

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