When I was a little girl, one of my family’s weekly rituals was going to Mass at St. Clare’s on Sunday mornings and then stopping at Enrico’s Bakery on Morris Park Avenue afterwards for pastries. We did this every Sunday without fail. We’d get a big box filled with assorted treats like chocolate éclairs, napoleons and sflogliatelle. The selection would change from week to week, depending on what looked good. My brother and I each got to choose a few of our favorites. I don’t remember what he chose, but I always picked the cannoli. I adored those crunchy, cookie-like tubes stuffed with an incredibly rich and luscious cream filling. I could barely survive the car ride home bursting with the anticipation of taking that first crispy, creamy bite!
After we moved to Florida, cannoli became nothing but a fond and wistful memory. No one here had ever heard of a cannolo, much less knew how to make one. So once in a while, my mother would make her own – and I would help. They weren’t exactly the same as the ones from my beloved Enrico’s, but I loved them just the same. Eventually, some Italians from New Jersey moved to town and opened up a little pastry shop right next door to our new church. My parents were delighted and our Sunday morning tradition was reborn. Unfortunately, Italians from New Jersey were better bakers than they were businesspeople. After a few years they went out of business. Sigh… Since then, other pastry shops have come and gone…and come and gone. But, I’ve always enjoyed them, and their cannoli, while they were here. read more >>