T. Cavallaro & Sons
The Cavallaro family has been manufacturing pastries in the Sicilian tradition for more than half a century. Tomasso Cavallaro emigrated from Lipari to Melbourne and established T. Cavallaro & Sons in 1956.
Over time, the bakery has come to specialise in cannoli – delicate tubes of golden, fried pastry filled with vanilla and chocolate patisserie cream or a more traditional combination of whipped ricotta, marsala and almonds.
Today the traditional process remains essentially unchanged under Tomasso’s generously spirited sons, Tony and Carmelo, who continue to work on the premises six days a week.
Cannoli shells begin as a dough mixture made in accordance with the Cavallaro family recipe. Once kneaded, segments of the batch are passed through a granite refining mechanism, imported from Milan during Tomasso’s reign. The resulting dough, exceptionally smooth and freed of excess air, is rolled into cylinders and cut into individual rounds.
During the peak Christmas trading period, up to 13 members across three generations work together from the tiny kitchen behind the shop to meet the demand for these delectable sweets. Most importantly, each cannoli is filled to order, ensuring that the shell remains light and crisp upon eating, despite the seductive creaminess of the inner filling.
The bakery also sells wedding cakes and various Italian biscuits, but they’re something of an understudy.