Sicilian cannolo is one of the best known specialties of Sicilian pastry. As such it has been officially recognized and included in the list of traditional Italian food products (P.A.T) of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (Mipaaf).
Originally they were prepared on the occasion of Carnival; over time, the preparation has lost its character of occasionality and has experienced a notable diffusion on the national territory. There are lots of references of its origin and name; Pino Correnti, in his Golden Book of Sicilian cuisine and wines, claimed that the cannolo was invented by the skilled hands of the cloistered nuns of a convent near Caltanissetta, starting from an ancient Roman recipe then elaborated by the Arabs. According to a widespread tradition, it owes its name to a joke carnival that consisted in making the ricotta cream come out of the cannolo instead of water, cannolo is a dialect term that indicates a sort of tap. The dessert, although it was born in Caltanissetta, still owes much of its fame and worldwide diffusion to the pastry chefs of Palermo, who helped to stabilize the recipe, as we know it today, together with the confectioners of Messina, who also invented the variant with dark ricotta and chocolate cream.
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