“Gelati everywhere, Vivaldi gelateria was the best in Florence and La Romana in Alba. Gelato. Wow I have had a big lesson in gelato in Italy. Gelato that is displayed in large mounds in a fridge cabinet is not a high quality gelato. The best rule is ask the locals. The best is not on display but sits in stainless steel canisters. High quality gelaterias are happy to let you try their product as a taster before you buy. ………..” was a lovely report of sweet discovery by a Tuscan and Piedmontese traveller of 2014.
Sicilian dolce is all about two traditional “sweets”, cassata and cannoli, both having developed through centuries of mixing cultures (13 different nations have conquered the Island since the 6th century BC). Italy Wine and Food Tours at Uncorked always acquaint guests with the local traditions or specialties and how better than this way in a pasticceria or pastry shop . Cassata-a sponge cake filled with ricotta (same day made cheese from sheep), candied fruits, local alcohol, fruit juice, gelato, iced, and often green, must be served on a tour lunch where there is espresso or macchiato to follow.
Then there is cannoli: a crusty-sweet, pale brown, uniquely-shaped tube stuffed with ricotta and brightly finished with gleaming-green roasted pistachios, or glazed cherries, or chocolate pieces or just white ricotta. Perfect with coffee. The best place to view these delectable desserts is to visit the “rock” called Erice near Trapani, where Maria Grammatico’ s pastry shop is famous for her cassata (see main pictorial): she was trained by the church which had inherited French pastry cook skills since Bourbon times.