We will be traveling to Sicily, May 2011. About 10 months ago I read a book about Sicliy and it talked about a Benedictine cloister that sold baked goods daily. The author talked about having the best cannoli ever!! I've been thinking about going there when in Sicily, but I can't seem to locate this cloister. I thought it was in Palermo or Moreale. Has anyone heard about this place or even better been there. I'm obsessed with finding it and eating those cannoli's. Help, thx.
The Monastery of Sant'Andrea in Palermo might be what you are thinking of. I've had my share of cannoli on my trip to Sicily but not from the monastery. I read about the monastery from Nick Malgieri's book, Great Italian Desserts. No address given.
The address is not a problem: it's Piazzetta delle Vergini 2, close to Quattro Canti at the intersection of Via Maqueda and Via Vittorio Emanuele.
The question is whether the nuns still sell cannoli. The most recent reference I can find to the pastries is from 1995; more recent mentions of the monastery only say that it offers lodging. It might be worth dropping by; Quattro Canti is central and the most famous intersection in Palermo.
I can ask a resident friend if the Monastero di Sant’Andrea still sells cannoli and other typical Sicilian pastries.
My best cannoli ever: if you ever happen to drive on the highway from Palermo to Trapani – A29 – take the exit “DATTILO”. Stop at the first bar you see on your left – you cannot miss it – it is a BAR not a PASTICCERIA. An anonymous plain place – not a single cannolo in sight – but you pronounce the magic word “cannoli” and signal how many – and the owner will go in the back room and fill the most delicious cannoli. Local legend says that they ship overnight to goodfella in US. ;-)