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Sicily is famous for its desserts, none more than the wonderful cannoli (cannolo is the singular), whose delicate pastry shell and just-sweet-enough ricotta filling barely resemble their foreign impostors. They come in all sizes, from pinkie-size bites to holiday cannoli the size of a coffee table. Even your everyday bar will display a window piled high with dozens of varieties of ricotta-based desserts, including delicious fried balls of dough. The traditional cake of Sicily is the cassata siciliana, a rich chilled sponge cake with sheep's-milk ricotta and candied fruit. Often brightly colored, it's the most popular dessert at many Sicilian restaurants, and you shouldn't miss it. From behind bakery windows and glass cases beam tiny marzipan sweets fashioned into brightly colored apples, cherries, and even hamburgers and prosciutto.
If it's summer, do as the locals do and dip your morning brioche—the best in Italy—into a cup of brilliantly refreshing coffee- or almond-flavored granita. The world's first ice cream is said to have been made by the Romans from the snow on the slopes of Mount Etna. Top-quality gelato is also prevalent throughout the island.Updated: 07-2013
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