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Taste Test: Cannoli

These crisp, lightly sweet Sicilian carnival treats are staples at Indy’s Italian-American restaurants, whether crusted with pistachios or drizzled with chocolate syrup.

Sal’s Famous Pizzeria
1028 E. Main St., Brownsburg, 317-858-8700

A meal at Brownburg’s old-school Italian standard wouldn’t be complete without one of Sal’s outsized cannoli. The thick, sweet filling is balanced nicely by an especially toasted crust and a dusting of cinnamon that offers an aromatic finish.

Sal’s Famous Pizzeria

The Twisted Sicilian
317-455-3281

Chae Carmack’s popular food truck offers Italian street-food snacks from fried ravioli to arancini (fried risotto balls) to three different flavors of cannoli filled right in the truck. Try a straight-up plain cannoli to taste the delectable ricotta  filling or get one with a fragrant hint of orange peel.

The Twisted Sicilian

Convivio
11529 Spring Mill Rd., Carmel, 317-564-4670
40 S. Main St., Zionsville, 317-733-3600

A distinct undertone of lemon zest in the ricotta that fills this light and shattering cannoli makes it one of the most subtle in the bunch. Get it garnished with crushed pistachios and chocolate chips at either location of this authentic northside trattoria.

Convivio

Iozzo’s Garden of Italy
946 S. Meridian St., 317-974-1100

Mini chocolate chips and whipped cream make the cannoli at this ever-popular downtown draw a celebration dessert on part with its beloved tiramisu or elaborate Italian cream cake.

Iozzo’s Garden of Italy

Nicole-Taylor’s Pasta and Market
1134 E. 54th St., 317-257-7374

Order a cannoli from Rosa Hanslits’s chic little gourmet shop and private dinner experience near the Monon Trail, and a counter clerk will pipe it fresh with one of the smoothest, creamiest ricotta fillings in the city. This ensures that the shell stays especially crisp and delicate.

Nicole Taylor’s Pasta and Market

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.
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