A Closer Look at American Cannoli
If you've ever wondered what goes into cannoli-making here in the US - specifically Boston - the answers are here. The Boston Globe interviews Golden Cannoli Shells Company, as well as the owners of Modern Pastry in Boston's North End. Of course, Modern's ricotta filling is made in house with Purity Cheese ricotta:
As for the filling, the baker still makes his own from locally produced Purity Cheese ricotta, adding sugar and flavoring before blending the ingredients in a mixer.
“It’s the right blend of sugar and ricotta that makes it work,” says Purity Cheese owner Peter Cucchiara, whose father, a Sicilian immigrant also named Peter, founded the business in the North End in 1938. (The company moved to Quincy in 1998 because of the Big Dig.) Unlike factories that make processed ricotta ready to sell in hours, which Cucchiara says has the consistency of mayonnaise, Purity Cheese makes ricotta with 100 percent raw milk and freezes it overnight.
A system of tubes pumps milk into four steel kettles, where 186-degree heat causes the liquid to separate, so the whey sits at the bottom and curds rise to the top. The curds are scooped into a plastic container and then chilled.