Amazing Gelato at Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe
Location
: 29 McCaul Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.instagram.com/mizzicagelato/

The first thing you see before you enter the door at Mizzica is a big banner with the various awards they won at the Gelato Festival World Masters, which certainly seems like a promising sign.

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

And then you try the actual gelato, and it’s pretty clear why they won those awards — holy moly it’s good, please give them all the awards.

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

They have a bunch of delicious looking flavours, but I went with the Cassata Siciliana, which is based on an Italian dessert of the same name (which is basically a boozy cake filled with candied fruit and creamy ricotta).

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

It’s so good.  It’s filled with chunks of cake, dark chocolate, candied fruit, and sweet ricotta, and everything about it is crazy delicious.  The balance of all the ingredients is just right, and the gelato itself is super smooth, rich, and creamy.  I was wondering if they could keep up that stratospheric level of quality; I’ve been back a few times since this particular visit, and yeah, this place is the real deal.  It’s some of the best gelato in the city.

Delicious Pastries at Cannoli Crunch

Cannoli Crunch
Location
: I was at the Taste of Little Italy festival, but their permanent location is at 850 King Street West, Toronto
Website: https://www.cannolicrunch.ca/

There was a whole bunch of interesting food at the recent Taste of Little Italy street festival, though Cannoli Crunch — who make various flavours of cannoli and then fill them fresh to order — was one that I couldn’t resist.

(Also: after a couple of years of their absence thanks to you-know-what, it was quite delightful to be back at a street festival.)

Cannoli Crunch

Though some of the other flavours sounded interesting, I went with the classic ricotta-filled cannoli dipped in pistachio.  Hey, it’s a classic for a reason.

It was so good.  It was filled to order, so the shell remained abundantly crispy, as it should.  And the filling was actually quite unique; cannoli filling generally has that slightly grainy texture that you get from ricotta, but the version here was smooth like custard while still retaining its delightful ricotta flavour.

The contrast between the crispy shell and the ultra-creamy filling was really nice, and the whole thing had a perfect level of sweetness — sweet, but not in-your-face sweet.  It was a great dessert.

Delicious Italian Sandwiches at Flora’s Deli

Flora's DeliLocation: 1276 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Website: https://www.florasto.com/

Flora’s Deli is a delightful little shop that offers a takeout menu (they also have a couple of small tables outside) of Italian sandwiches.  It doesn’t have the most exciting menu ever, with the usual veal and eggplant sandwiches, various cold cut assortments, etc.

The sandwiches are so well executed, however, that this never feels like an issue.  The Norma Gina is generally what people talk about when they talk about this place, and yeah, I can see why.  Served on a fresh sesame seed roll and featuring a generous amount of fried eggplant topped with hot honey,  creamy whipped ricotta, and fresh arugula, it’s a great sandwich.

Flora's Deli

The eggplant is perfectly cooked, the ricotta adds a delightful richness, the arugula is nice and peppery, and the honey adds a subtle sweetness that contrasts nicely with the savoury sandwich.

I also tried the Sofia, which the menu describes as “prosciutto, coppa, sopressata, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, arugula, 6yr balsamico.”  This one’s a pretty standard cold cut sandwich, but when you’ve got top-notch ingredients that all complement each other so well, there’s absolutely no need to reinvent the wheel.  I sort of figured the eggplant sandwich would be the more interesting of the two, but I’d honestly have a hard time picking a favourite; they’re both so good.

Flora's Deli

(I should also note that since I wrote this, the restaurant’s pop-up location is no more, but supposedly a permanent spot is in the works.)

Checking out the Summer Scoop Series at Eataly

Summer Scoop Series at EatalyLocation: 55 Bloor Street West (in the Manulife Centre), Toronto 
Website: https://www.eataly.ca/news/housemade-gelato/

Eataly is currently doing a promotion they’re calling the Summer Scoop Series; every month, they’re collaborating with a different local gelato-maker on a special flavour.  This month, they’re working with Nani’s Gelato, and the flavour is pistachio ricotta kulfi.

Summer Scoop Series at Eataly

The Eataly website describes it as “an Indian-inspired flavour with an Italian twist, featuring Italian pistachio paste, chopped pistachios, steeped saffron, cardamom, and whipped ricotta.”

As you’d expect from Nani’s (and the gelato at Eataly is no slouch, either), it’s superb.  The pistachio flavour is pronounced, and it’s perfectly complemented by the saffron and cardamom.  The bits of sweet ricotta interspersed throughout are a nice touch.  It’s top-notch gelato.

Perfectly Crispy Cannoli at Holy Cannoli

Holy CannoliLocation: Follow them on Instagram to see where they’ll be
Website: https://www.holy-cannoli.com/

There’s nothing sadder than biting into a cannoli only to find that its would-be crispy exterior has been rendered soft and chewy by the ravages of time.

Holy Cannoli, which had a booth at the recent OssFest street festival, avoids this problem quite definitively by filling their cannoli shells to order.  This is clearly the way to do it.  I don’t know why every bakery doesn’t do it this way.

Holy Cannoli

So of course, the shell was nice and crispy, just as it should be.  It’s crispy but not overly crunchy — it’s basically the perfect cannoli shell.

You can choose from either chocolate chip or vanilla filling; I went with the latter, and it was creamy, sweet, and tasty.  Nothing about it particularly jumped out as being amazing, but it was a solid cannoli.