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11th Annual Cannoli Eating Competition Returns to Little Italy

11th Annual Cannoli Eating Competition Returns to Little Italy

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Ten hungry hopefuls look to break impossible thirty-two cannoli record.

To all dessert lovers: this competition is not for the faint of heart.

This Thursday, September 13, crowds will gather for the 11th Annual Cannoli Eating Competition in New York’s Little Italy, from 2:00-3:00 PM. The contest, sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, has been known to break records, with last year’s winner eating thirty-two full-sized cannoli in only six minutes. This year ten hopefuls set to shatter that seemingly impossible feat, aided only by their iron will and the occasional swig of complimentary coffee and milk.

For the pastry novice, a cannoli is a rolled and fried shell and filled with a rich cream of ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and (often) diced candied fruit. This year’s cannoli are being provided by Ferrara Bakery & Cafe, located in the Little Italy. Each cannoli is a whopping five hundred calories, meaning last year’s victor inhaled 16,000 calories, or over 2,600 calories per minute. Yes, these people are professionals!

The Cannoli Eating Competition is only one event in the Feast of San Gennaro, the religious-turned-culinary festival celebrating the Patron Saint of Naples that began in New York in 1926 and has persisted for eighty-six years. The festival welcomes New Yorkers of all backgrounds to join the traditional tastes of Italy, the cannoli being one of the most loved of these traditions. Their only stipulation? Leave your diet at home.

NYC’s 5 Best Cannoli Shops

Cannoli come in all shapes and sizes, from miniature versions to monster versions, stuffed with a creamy ricotta filling, dipped in chocolate, or transformed into a cheesecake or crepe. Our five favorite cafes and bakeries for cannoli tend to be a little more old country. Have a bite and let us know if you agree with our picks. By Jessica Allen.

When it opened its doors in 1973, Caffe Palermo proudly declared itself the &ldquoCannoli King of Little Italy,&rdquo and has been living up to the moniker ever since. The cannoli on offer boast a flaky exterior and rich creamy interior, exactly what you want from this traditional Italian dessert. If you really, really love cannoli, consider entering the cafe&rsquos annual cannoli eating contest, held at the Feast of San Gennaro. FYI: you&rsquoll need to eat about 20 to stay competitive.

Way back when, Bushwick was home to a bustling Sicilian community. The venerable Circo&rsquos Pastry Shop honors that past in every offering, from its miniature cheesecakes to its sfogliatelle to its amazing cannoli. Buttressed with cherries, sprinkled with powdered sugar, oozing tangy cream, the cannoli here is perhaps our favorite in the city. If you&rsquore a true glutton, consider the Family Cannoli, a huge cannolo filled to bursting with about 50 mini cannoli.

Why is it that the best cannoli just happen to come from some of the city’s oldest bakeries and cafes? DeRobertis, in the East Village, is no exception: it opened in 1904, and today it&rsquos run by the family&rsquos fourth generation. How&rsquos that for longevity? You can get a regular cannolo (excellent), a chocolate-covered cannolo (also excellent), or a French cannoli (once again: excellent), in addition to a huge assortment of Italian sweets. Be sure to marvel at the ancient mosaic floor and equally ancient tin ceiling.

This Bronx institution is so beloved, it doesn&rsquot need a website. Instead, people simply know to come to Egidio&rsquos for all their cannoli needs, wants, and desires. It does, however, have a Facebook page, noting that it sells &ldquothe best holy cannoli in the Bronx.&rdquo We&rsquore still munching our way through the borough, so we can&rsquot comment on the veracity of that statement, but we can say that the cannoli are terrific. Also terrific is the cartoccio alla crema, which marries cannolo filling to a sugar donut. Marriage is sacred, after all.

Step into Veniero&rsquos, in the East Village, and you&rsquore literally stepping into history. The restaurant&rsquos marble floors, hand-stamped metal ceilings, and etched glass doors, among other details, all date to the cafe&rsquos original 1894 opening. Back then New York City didn&rsquot even have five boroughs — that&rsquos how historic this place is. And the same family has been making the same Italian specialities for 120+ years. As if that wasn&rsquot enough to pay your respects, the cannoli remain rich, dense, and superior.

1. The 21st Annual Cannoli Eating Competition

Image courtesy Figli di San Gennaro

The feast’s 21st annual cannoli eating competition, brought to the festival by Caffe Palermo, begins at 2:00 sharp on September 14th at the stage on Grand and Mott streets. The goal of the contest is simple: to beat out of all the contenders by eating the most cannolis in six minutes flat. Although there is no prize, the winner scores serious gloating rights and a delicious mouthful of Italian sweets.
To sign up for the event, call 212-764-6330 (and make sure to prepare your stomach).

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Cannoli time! Feast of San Gennaro kicks off in Manhattan's Little Italy

LITTLE ITALY, Manhattan (WABC) -- If you're craving a good calzone or cannoli, you're in luck! The 93rd Annual Feast of San Gennaro has returned to Little Italy in Manhattan.

The feast began Thursday and will end Sunday, September 22.

Apart from the incredible food vendors, revelers can enjoy a number of activities, like a zeppole-eating competition and live performances.

This year, actor Steve Schirripa from "The Sopranos" serves as Grand Marshal and will lead the Grand Procession on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The feast is a salute to the patron saint of Naples, Saint Gennaro, who was martyred for his faith in 305 A.D.

According to the feast's organizers, immigrants from Naples who settled along Mulberry Street brought this tradition to New York City in 1926. In the years following, the event has grown from a one-day festival to an 11-day extravaganza.

Ready to feast? Make sure to check out the schedule of events first:

This Week on the Show

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We've got an hour packed with sheet pan suppers&mdashand a dessert! Chefs Gail Simmons, Ronnie Woo and Ryan Scott serve up everything from teriyaki salmon to sticky toffee bars. And Rachael has a winner winner chicken dinner with her own sheet pan supper!

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Drew Barrymore is catching up with Rach&mdashand she's dishing on family life and "The Drew Barrymore Show." Then, Dr. Jennifer Ashton breaks down the medical must-haves you should have at home. In the kitchen, Rachael's making stuffed cabbage rolls!

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What's for dinner? Rachael's making a chicken and orzo soup with peas and carrots that's perfect for spring! For dessert, Daphne Oz has a secretly healthy chocolate chip cookie fake-out that kids will still love. Plus, Kate the Chemist demos an edible science experiment with rainbow pasta.

The Kitchen

The Kitchen is sharing favorite summer recipes with delicious twists! Jeff Mauro fires up the grill for his Boneless Riburger, and Sunny Anderson shares her Easy Grilled Garden State Salad inspired by her favorite New Jersey produce. Geoffrey Zakarian makes his summertime seafood staple, Fish and Chips with Spicy Tartar Sauce. Alex Guarnaschelli and Katie Lee put two twists on watermelon with Alex's Lime Cocktail with Watermelon Ice Cubes and Katie's LA Fruit Stand Fruit Salad. The hosts make cupcakes inspired by classic ice cream truck treats, from Jeff's Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake to Katie's Drumstick Cupcake, and take a look back at The Kitchen's favorite summertime games!

Family Style: Can You Grill It?

The Kitchen is pulling out unexpected and flavorful foods to cook on the grill all summer long! Sunny Anderson starts with her Grilled Open-Faced BLT, and Geoffrey Zakarian follows with his Grilled Potatoes with Chipotle Yogurt. Jeff Mauro shows a new way to make a classic salad with his Charred Caprese Salad, and Alex Guarnaschelli shares how to grill herbs for her Grilled Herb Vinaigrette with Grilled Vegetables. Katie Lee uses the grill for her Grilled Banana Butterscotch Pudding dessert, the hosts share their favorite summer drinks, and Geoffrey makes a Grilled Strawberry-Lime Mezcal Margarita.

Sun's Out, Buns Out

The summer sun and buns are out -- burger, sandwich and hot dog buns, that is! Geoffrey Zakarian starts by sharing his tips for a moist and flavorful Mushroom Turkey Burger. Katie Lee makes a meatless Grilled Halloumi Sandwich with Watermelon Relish, and Sunny Anderson puts her amped-up meatloaf between two buns for her Meatloaf Burgers. Then, Alex Guarnaschelli elevates a traditional hot dog with her Hot Dogs with Mustard and Relish, and Jeff Mauro shares a burger from his neck of the woods, his Northwest Indiana-Style Smashed Burger. Finally, Geoffrey and his wife, Margaret, make a Boozy Cherry Milkshake that pairs perfectly with any burger or hot dog.

Easy Breezy Summer Meals

The Kitchen is sharing the simplest summer recipes that make for easy, breezy summer meals. Katie Lee makes her favorite simple pasta, Baked Rigatoni with Tomato and Eggplant, and Jeff Mauro makes his Crispy Grilled Harissa Shrimp Greek Salad. Alex Guarnaschelli shares her Summery Corn Soup, the perfect cold soup for summer, and Geoffrey Zakarian transforms canned tuna into a delicious Salad Nicoise. Sunny Anderson makes a simple summer dessert, her Easy Raspberry Brookie Pie, and the hosts play Try or Deny with some trending mocktails.

BBQ and A

The Kitchen answers all of your burning BBQ questions! Geoffrey Zakarian starts by sharing the best cut of steak for the grill with his Grilled Hanger Steaks with Roasted Garlic Romesco Sauce. Then, Katie and Sunny share two ways to amp up store-bought barbecue sauce with Katie Lee's Spicy Pineapple BBQ Sauce and Sunny Anderson's Nunya Business Asian BBQ Sauce. Jeff Mauro shares the secrets to making ribs on the grill and makes his Peach Peppadew Pork Pops. Grilling expert Susie Bulloch joins the hosts and shares her Smoked Whole Chicken with Honey BBQ Sauce. Plus, Alex Guarnaschelli makes a cool side, Chilled Green Bean Salad with Horseradish, and the hosts share trending hot dogs for summer!

Al Fresco Feast

The Kitchen shares delicious meals to enjoy outside! Jeff Mauro kicks things off with his easy-to-eat Honey Bourbon Chicken Pops, and Geoffrey Zakarian makes a delicious Summer Orzo Salad. Sunny Anderson prepares her Easy Grilled Cabbage "Steaks" with Apple Salad, Katie Lee shares her Sesame and Basil Corn Saute, and Alex Guarnaschelli makes the perfect light summer bite, Summer Berry Carpaccio. Then, the hosts look back at fun lemonade recipes, and Katie makes a fresh, vibrant Arugula Lemonade that's perfect for an al fresco meal.

Summer Produce Relay

The Kitchen is passing the summer produce and cooking easy, flavorful recipes! Katie Lee starts with one of her favorites, peaches, to make Grilled Smoky Tofu Tacos with Peach Cucumber Salsa. She tosses a cucumber to Sunny Anderson, who makes her Easy Mustard-Pickled Veggies. Jeff Mauro uses Sunny's fresh corn in his Smoked Corn and Poblano Chicken Skillet then tosses a zucchini to Alex Guarnaschelli. Alex makes her delicious Fried Zucchini and tosses basil to Geoffrey Zakarian, who whips up Tomato Bruschetta with Crispy Prosciutto. Plus, the hosts showcase their gardens and share tips for growing fresh summer produce.

Kitchen Lessons

The Kitchen shares easy recipes that the whole family can make! Jeff Mauro and his son, Lorenzo, cook up the Mauro Family's Bacon and Pineapple Pan Pizza. Then, Geoffrey Zakarian and Katie Lee get sweet and savory with GZ's Savory Parmesan Popcorn and Katie's Peanut Butter Popcorn Treat. Alex Guarnaschelli and her daughter, Ava, make fun and easy Grilled Vegetable Skewers. Geoffrey and his daughters, Madeline and Anna, prepare a family favorite with Build-Your-Own Fish Tacos. Plus, Sunny Anderson shares trending foods that kids and parents will love, and the hosts surprise mom-to-be Katie with a virtual baby shower!

Summer Comfort Food

The Kitchen hosts share the comfort food recipes that make them happy all summer long! Sunny Anderson has a spin on a favorite with Citrus Glazed Can-Grilled Chicken. Then, Jeff Mauro cooks up a Chicago comfort food with his Grilled Giardiniera Salad, and Geoffrey Zakarian shares his fresh and delicious Summer Pasta with Garden Fresh Zucchini. Alex Guarnaschelli shows her tricks to make Juicy Turkey Burgers with Onion Jam, and Katie Lee prepares a family favorite, Zucchini-Pineapple Bread. Plus, the hosts share their favorite comfort foods and memories from this summer.

Beat the Heat

The Kitchen shares fun, cool recipes for the hottest days of summer! Katie Lee kicks things off with her Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Chicken and Garlic Orange Dressing. Sunny Anderson shares her cold and refreshing Easy Roasted Green Gazpacho, and Jeff Mauro makes a super fresh spin on a classic sandwich, his Strawberry Balsamic BLT. Then, Geoffrey Zakarian prepares his Grilled Swordfish with Mango Salsa, and Alex Guarnaschelli has the perfect summer dessert with her Watermelon Granita Parfait. Plus, the hosts share some great ways to cool down in the summer heat.

Labor Day BBQ

The Kitchen caps off summer with the greatest recipes for a Labor Day BBQ! Geoffrey Zakarian starts with tips for making his Pork Roast Sandwiches with Spicy Apricot Mustard, and Jeff Mauro highlights the last of a seasonal favorite with his Quadruple Illinois Sweet Corn Salad. Grilling expert and blogger Susie Bulloch is back to share a recipe that went viral, her Hot Dog "Burnt Ends." Alex Guarnaschelli prepares the perfect side of Tomato and Herby Mozzarella Salad, and Katie Lee makes a festive, showstopping dessert with her Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake. Plus, the hosts share some tasty tips to amp up tortilla chips!

Simple Speedy Dishes

The Kitchen shares their favorite recipes that are fast and flavorful! Katie Lee begins with a quick, easy way to make a classic with her Grilled Chicken Parmesan, and Alex Guarnaschelli shares a simple Pork, Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry that the whole family will love. Jeff Mauro shows shortcuts for his delicious Original Chicago Cheese Steak with Taylor Street Cheese Sauce. Plus, Geoffrey Zakarian makes his Cod with Brown Butter Lemon Sauce, Sunny Anderson gives the secret to her Easy Mussels and Shrimp Paella Pouches, and the hosts reveal their favorite time-saving hacks.

Our Best Big Batch Recipes

The Kitchen shares family-style, big batch recipes that are perfect for meal prep or family dinners! Jeff Mauro starts with his Escarole, Sausage, Peppers and Beans Cheat Sheet on the grill. Then, Geoffrey Zakarian makes a big batch of his Ratatouille, and Katie Lee shows an easy way to cook rice for a crowd. Sunny Anderson prepares her Big Easy Chicken and Andouille File Gumbo that will feed the whole family, and Alex Guarnaschelli's Pork Chops Pizzaiola can turn into multiple meals. Plus, mixologist and "Drinking Coach" Tiffanie Barriere joins the hosts to share her Grass Roots Cocktail.

1. The 22nd Annual Cannoli Eating Competition

Image courtesy Figli di San Gennaro

The feast’s 22nd annual cannoli eating competition with cannolis from Ferrara Bakery. The contest will begin on Friday, September 13th at 1:00pm. If cannolis aren’t your favorite Italian dessert, you can also take part in the zeppole-eating showdown on Wednesday, September 18th at 1:00pm. To sign up, call 212-764-6330.

Seeking the REAL "Brooklyn Style" Cannoli Recipe

I have a serious Cannoli recipe problem, which I've been unable to resolve for several years. As many cannoli-philes have probably figured out, none of the recipes posted online or on this forum actually produce what I would now call the "Brooklyn style" cannoli, which is the cannoli of my youth.

I am reaching out to the Chowhounders out there who have worked in a bakery to share their secrets, because at this point, I am convinced that the recipe or secret to producing the cannoli I am looking for (and the cannoli style most beloved by most new yorkers) is simply not in the public domain.

What do I mean by Brooklyn style cannoli? First, let's get it straight - after trying to track down the "brooklyn style" cannoli recipe for over 10 years, I have noticed that in the US, there are several cannoli styles present. In Boston, most cannoli are just ricotta and sugar (think Fortunato brothers or Rocco's). Many people love this style, and to them, this IS cannoli. However, that's not what I'm looking for. If you get a cannoli in most spots in Manhattan, they will at least use impastata, which is a higher fat, low moisture version of ricotta, and candied citron. There is also other variants, such as Villabate's in Brooklyn, which seems to use some sort of orange or other liquer base (I only tried it once, not my thing, though they use a great ricotta), but it is a variation you won't find often. Occasionally, you will also find a cannoli that uses cinnamon oil, which is one of the key "secret" ingredients often listed on boards.

However, if you have ever been to a cannoli spot like Court Street Pastry, Alba's (now Luigi's in Staten Island), Cristoforo Colombo or even Veniero's, you probably have found out that absolutely no cannoli recipe out there can get you the flavor of these bakeries (which I am calling "Brooklyn" style, although you can find similar cannoli on Staten Island, parts of New Jersey, and other random areas). It is a hard flavor to describe, which definitely uses cinnamon oil or some other cinnamon source and of course, citron, but there is another flavor there that I've been unable to replicate using any of the recipes online (and I don't think it's Sheep's Milk Ricotta, which I've obtained from several sources on different occasions, with no success).

At first, I thought it might be some sort of anise extract, and perhaps that is part of the "secret", as that at least seems to get me part of the way. At times, I've thought that perhaps I am limited in my selection of ricotta, or that perhaps they do something to the cheese to create more flavor (though I don't think most of these places add mascarpone). Recently, I visited a pastry place in Philadelphia called Potito's that has a very interesting filling, and they informed me that they actually make their own ricotta - perhaps that is part of the secret (although I note theirs does not use cinnamon oil)?

Either way, despite my efforts to use every possible combination of the following: anise extract, cinnamon oil, sambucca, rose water, orange flower water, strega, maraschino liquer, rum, cacao liquer, Almond extract/Amaretto, etc, my cannoli filling still tastes absolutely nothing like these "brooklyn style" cannoli places.

If anyone has any advice, I would incredibly appreciate it. I have tried every variation of every recipe on the internet and am using high quality impastata and have tried maybe a dozen different cinnamon oils at this point.

Most Read

Being cheesy is a good thing at this shop. Alleva Dairy, which bills itself as America’s oldest cheese shop and was founded in 1892, is here for all your savory cravings. Stop by for fresh mozzarella and other cheeses at this store that also turns out hearty hero sandwiches, stuffed peppers and salty meats like prosciutto. As an added bonus, you might run into actor Tony Danza, who became a part-owner of Alleva a few years back. Alleva’s stand at the feast will be in front of the store at 188 Grand St.


You’ll be bombarded with plenty of stands hawking standard street fair fare like fried Oreos and Twinkies, but you should stop when you see Danny on the Corner. For 88 years, the Fratta family has been serving tasty bites at the corner of Mulberry and Grand Sts., which is why current generation owner Danny Fratta gave the stand that name. In addition to other artery-clogging delights, grab a greasy bag of zeppoles, irresistible deep-fried balls of dough piled with powdered sugar.

Watch the video: Classic Cannolis Reign At Little Italys Feast Of San Gennaro (June 2022).


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