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Cannolo, plural:cannoli
Cannolo siciliano with chocolate squares.jpg
A basic cannolo lightly sprinkled with confectioner's sugar
Type Pastry
Place of origin Italy
Region or state Sicily
Main ingredients fried pastry dough, ricotta filling
Variations Kannoli (Malta)
Cookbook: Cannolo, plural:cannoli  Media: Cannolo, plural:cannoli

Cannoli (Italian pronunciation: [kanˈnɔːli]; Sicilian: cannula) are Italian pastries of the Sicily region. The singular is cannolo ([kanˈnɔːlo]; in the Sicilian language cannolu), meaning "little tube", with the etymology stemming from the Greek kanna (reed).[1] Cannoli originated in Sicily and are a staple of Sicilian cuisine.[2][3] They are also popular in Italian-American cuisine. In Italy, they are commonly known as "cannoli siciliani", Sicilian cannoli.

Cannoli consist of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, filled with a sweet, creamy filling usually containing ricotta. They range in size from "cannulicchi", no bigger than a finger, to the fist-sized proportions typically found south of Palermo, Sicily, in Piana degli Albanesi.[4]

Typical cannolo as served in America
Cannoli on display


Cannoli have been traced to the Arabs during the Emirate of Sicily,[5][6] with a possible origin for the word and recipe deriving directly from qanawāt. These were deep fried dough tubes filled with various sweets, which were a popular pastry across the Islamic world at the time, from Al-Andalus to Iraq.[7]

Cannoli come from the Palermo and Messina[8] areas and were historically prepared as a treat during Carnevale season, possibly as a fertility symbol; one legend assigns their origin to the harem of Caltanissetta. The dessert eventually became a year-round staple throughout Italy.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Gangi, Robert (2006). "Cannoli". Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Cannoli of Piana degli Albanesi". A Taste of Travel. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Cannoli of Piana degli Albanesi". A Taste of Travel. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Madison Books (1 Nov 2007). 1001 Foods To Die For. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 779. ISBN 9780740770432. 
  6. ^ Michael Krondl (2011). Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert. Chicago Review Press. p. 102. ISBN 9781556529542. 
  7. ^ Paul H. Freedman (2007). Food: The History of Taste (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 159. ISBN 9780520254763. 
  8. ^ "Scatti di gusto - 30 cannoli siciliani perfetti per un tentativo di classifica definitiva". Scatti di Gusto. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Cannoli at Wikimedia Commons
  • Cannoli at Wikibook Cookbooks