Working Against Fakes: The Case of the Cannolo Siciliano

Tue, 10/01/2013 - 09:00
Italians tend to be very attentive to regional food traditions and authenticity of local products. One such Italian was so irritated with what he saw displayed in a shop window in Venice that he decided to snap a picture and send it to the Palermo edition of Italy’s largest-circulation daily newspaper, La Repubblica. What made him angry was to see fake cannoli siciliani advertised as the real thing – and even sold at above-average price. “It represents a damage to the entire Sicilian pastry tradition and an insult to tourists who think they are tasting one of the best products of that tradition,” he wrote to the paper. The cannoli on display in the Venice shop are made with puff pastry and filled with panna (cream). Wrong! The real cannolo siciliano is made with crunchy dough (called scorza) and filled with ricotta. Cannoli are so important in the culinary tradition that they have been included in the list of "Italian traditional food products" by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of the Italian Government. So always beware, especially in highly visited locations, not to fall into classic tourist traps - the best advice probably being: buy local, eat local.