Cannoli would seem to be a simple affair: fried pastry shells stuffed with a sweet cream. In many restaurants the cream and shells are pre-made, but are assembled onsite by extruding the cream flecked with chocolate chips into the pastry tube, finishing them with a dusting of powdered sugar.
The filling of a cannolo (singular) is a personal preference: some prefer ricotta cheese while others like the richness of equal amounts of mascarpone and ricotta cheese. The filling may be favored, too.
However, not all cannoli in Charlotte are pre-made. At Nona's Sweets Bakery Café (9331 J.W. Clay Blvd., www.nonassweets.com) both the pastry and cream are made in-house and are available for $4.50 each.
For some transplanted New Yorkers, though, the preferred taste is found at Enzo's Italian Market (4420 Potter Road, http://enzositalianmarket.com) in Stallings. Enzo's, an eponym for the Sicilian born owner, opened in January 2010 and has garnered a reputation for house-made Italian sausages, specialty imported Italian items like canned tomatoes and Italian effervesce, and, of course, cannoli.
Enzo's offers both small ($1.25 each) and large cannoli ($3 each), but also sells boxes of a pastry shells and a bag of cream to take home. Cannoli become soggy fairly quickly and do not freeze well. Both the pastry shells and the cream at Enzo's are made in the New York City area.
In addition to cannoli, Enzo's has house-made prepared dinners such as baked ziti, chicken parmesan, lasagna. Among the meats are sausages and Sicilian braciole — beef or pork rolled as a roulade with cheese and bread crumbs. Enzo's also sells Sunday Sauce — the Italian American version of a Neapolitan ragu, a tomato based simmering sauce for the braciole.
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