The time had come to see if any cannoli in the Capital Region could compare to the penultimate cannoli from the Alpine Bakery in Smithtown, Long Island.
Based on the kind suggestions of the readers of this blog, we purchased cannoli from the following:
1. Bella Napoli
3. Hannaford (in Clifton Park)
We had additional participants in this cannoli death match in the form of two close friends who were more than happy to act as objective taste testers. I do have to say before anything else that this would not have been possible had J not been so dedicated as to drive around to each of these different places to get the cannoli. He is really dedicated to finding good food.
J was the only one who knew which cannoli came from where. We sliced the cannoli into four for the blind taste test. We then thoughtfully sampled each of the four pieces and arrived at the following ranking (number 1 being the most preferred cannoli):
1. Bella Napoli
– This was a unanimous decision, it was the most balanced cannoli. The filling had a strong almond and anise flavor which was tasty but not exactly what I was looking for. I would have preferred a little brightness to it but it was still delicious. The crust itself was chewy and had nice texture.
– The filling for this cannoli was probably more in line with what I had in Long Island, however it was a little too sweet, but there was a nice gingerbread quality to it. The crust didn’t stand out with this cannoli.
3. Mrs. London’s
– First off, this cannoli did not look like a traditional cannoli in the sense that it had pistachio pieces in it as well as lemon zest. So while this was the most untraditional cannoli, it was still very good. The crust was flaky and the best crust out of the four. This was also the most expensive cannoli, ringing up at around $5 for one cannoli.
– This also was unanimous in that no one really liked this cannoli. The filling was too one note, way too much cheese, not enough flavor. The crust was okay.
While the winner of the Capital Region cannoli is from Bella Napoli, the cannoli from the Alpine Bakery in Long Island surpasses any of these competitors.
We all had such a great time performing this taste test that we have decided to perform additional death matches for the following types of food:
- Italian Sub Sandwiches
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Hot Dogs
The focus for all of these death matches will be local products. I welcome any suggestions for any of the categories on what we should be trying.