Isgro fills top cannoli spot

The popular bakery will be at the Best Foods of South Philly event, and guess what they are bringing

By Lindsey Nolen

Photo by Lindsey Nolen

According to Gus Isgro, owner of Isgro’s Bakery, the secret to making a great cannoli is the ability to keep the shell crisp, but not so crisp it hurts when biting into it. Having won the best cannoli in South Philly, and having become known across the country for his shop, it’s clear Isgro knows what he’s talking about.

“The perfect cannoli is a combination of filing and shell that melts in your mouth when you chew it,” the third-generation pastry chef said. “As you chew it, the cannoli should absorb the moisture from your cheeks and get softer. We fill ours fresh for each customer so they have confidence that they can last up to a day or a day and a half without getting soft.”

Using the recipe his grandfather, Mario Isgra, brought from Italy and began using when he opened the shop in 1904, he refuses to sell anything less than perfect to retain the high quality attached to his family’s name. In doing so, he still makes each cannoli shell from flour, a small amount of sugar, cinnamon and preferably homemade red wine. As for the filling, it is comprised of ricotta, sugar, cinnamon and chocolate chips.

“It’s kind of like a science,” sgro, who says he never gets sick of eating his cannolis, said. “My grandfather’s recipe is so successful, so we don’t change it.”