[Photo: Chichi Wang]

On a recent trip to the Bronx's Arthur Avenue area, I dropped by Egidio's Pastry Shop on East 187th Street to inquire about their cannoli. While Egidio's also sells pre-filled cannoli, it's their freshly filled ones that are worth the visit.

The shells of these cannoli are light and crunchy, with delicate pockets of air in the dough that crisp up perfectly when fried. Like little craters, each textured bubble on the shell contributes to a satisfying crunch in the mouth. The filling, a combination of ricotta and pastry cream, tastes pleasantly like the cheese rather than the sugary icing-types that are all too common in lesser cannoli.

It is, however, important to request Egidio's cannoli freshly filled. When I had another cannolo from Egidio's that was pre-filled, the shell was soggy. Pastry shops selling cannolis generally take one of two roads when selling pre-filled cannoli: either they fashion their shells from a thicker, harder dough that remains crunchy when fillled, or they allow their more delicate shells to grow soggy in the case. (The former seemed to be the strategy just a few storefronts down at De Lillo's Pastry Shop, where the shells remained crunchy by virtue of their thick, heavy-set dough.)

Sfogliatelle in the Bronx's Little Italy

Egidio's Pastry Shop

622 East 187th Street, Bronx NY 10458 (map)

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