Cannoli Like No Other

Last week, as I was making plans for a short visit to Philly, I put a posting on my Facebook page asking friends to recommend things to do, places to see and, of course, where to eat while there. The response was unanimous that the one thing I absolutely had to do was to go to Isgro, an old school Italian pastry shop, and eat cannoli. Cannoli is one of those things that seems to have a much greater following on the East coast than on the West and to be honest, I've never really had a passion for super-sweet, Italian pastries, but when in Rome…

After a particularly sweltering morning spent wandering around the famous Italian marketplace on Philly's south side, sampling various delights such as wild boar prosciutto, pork and provolone sandwiches with sweet peppers and broccoli rabe and eggplant parmesan hoagies, we decided that it was time to venture over to Isgro and get down to some serious business.

From a block away we couldn't help but spot the sign brightly boasting the colors of the Italian flag and as we approached the storefront, it was clear that we were about to take more than a few steps back in time. The bakery displays were packed with cakes, cookies and pastries, each tempting us with their less than natural colors and sugary surfaces, but we had come for one thing and one thing only, a traditional cannoli filled with chocolate chip-studded ricotta cream, made the same way it has been made for the past 100 years. After many minutes of being bounced around the shop like pinballs amongst the hoards of sugar craving customers, it was our turn to order. Our server was a no-nonsense, older woman sporting a white Isgro t-shirt and a bee-hive hairdo and it was clear that she had been doing this for a very long time. She greeted us with a bit of a Philly edge (not too warmly, but not too cold either) and made it clear that she had no time for small talk. So we quickly placed our order, paid and slipped out the door into the heavy June heat to find a stoop to sit on.

I have to admit, with the first bite my opinion of cannoli had forever changed. The shell, light brown and blistered, crackled and burst as I bit into it. The cream, still holding a chill from the refrigerator, was cool and just sweet enough to complement, but not entirely take away the tartness of the ricotta and the chocolate chips provided a perfect balance, in both flavor and texture, to the cream and the shell.

It didn't take long to suck down that cannoli, but it did take some will power not to walk back in and buy another. Eventually, however, we managed to lure ourselves away and continue our tour of the Italian market. Having returned from my trip a few days ago, I am kicking myself for not venturing back to Isgro to buy a cannoli for the road, but something tells me that the next time I go to Philly, Isgro will still be there, just the way it is today, and the way it's been for 100 years.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • First opened its doors in 1980 as the Academy of Medical Art and Business.
            • Students can choose from a variety of diploma or degree programs, as well as continuing education courses.
            • Provides programs in massage therapy, dental assisting, criminal justice, cake decorating, and more.
            • 7.5 acre campus is located in the foothills of Blue Mountain, north of Harrisburg, PA.
            • Involved with many community service organizations, including the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank (CPBB), March of Dimes, and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
            • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            Virginia College , Fort Pierce
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid