Don't tell mainland Italians, but the sweets of Sicily might just be the country's best. Thanks to the island's hot-potato past (it's been ruled by Greeks and Romans, Byzantines and Arabs, French and Spanish) and its rich agriculture (hello, almonds and lemons, pistachios and oranges—not to mention olives and grapes), Sicilian food is among Italy's most varied and interesting cuisine. But when it comes to the sweets, we're really talking.
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Everybody knows that the best part of the cannoli is the cream. But what happens when you take that delicious filling and combine it with ice cream? What you've got on your hands is an ice dream, that's what.
Everyone's had cannoli (if you haven't, stop reading right now and go to your nearest Italian bakery). Mmm, delicious little tubes of fried pastry, filled with sweetened ricotta and dusted with confectioner's sugar. Italy's version of the éclair. If you're lucky, you've had them homemade—light and crispy with a creamy whipped filling, decorated with chopped pistachios or chocolate chips. If you're not as lucky, maybe you've had them from a bakery or, shudder, a gas station. But they're always better homemade.
While the streets are lined with pasticcerie, the cannoli landscape revolves around two major contenders: Mike's Pastry and Modern Pastry Shop, facing off on opposite sides of Hanover Street. Mike's is the tourist-trafficked favorite, but many locals prefer Modern's modest storefront and delicate pastry shells.