Thursday, May 7, 2009


the house specialty is cannoli at Isgro, an old-fashioned bakery in South Philly
photo from Isgro's website

When was the last time you went to a real bakery? And not a coffee shop that also happens to sell muffins and danishes along with 15 different types of coffee? For most of us I think it has been a while, simply because there aren't that many of them left. With the advent of coffee shops who do in house baking and the supermarket bakeries, community bakeries have all but disappeared. But Isgro Pasticceria at 1009 Christian Street in South Philadelphia has been serving the community for over 100 years.

I paid the bakery a visit early on a Saturday morning, and the small storefront was already packed with people. The small aisle facing the cases of confections is thinner than one at a supermarket, so 10 people made it feel a little claustrophobic. None of us cared too much though, as we perused the wide array of cookies, cakes, custards, rolls, tarts and turnovers, and of course the cannoli. Half the customers, including myself, had come in for cannoli, the house specialty.

Indeed, the cannoli are excellent, but the bakery has many more cakes and cookies that you can really only find at a real bakery. Peaches and Cream is a small spongecake that is soaked in peach schnapps and filled with peach custard and the best part: it looks like a small peach, covered in orange and pink sugar

Once you visit once, you'll be dying to return to Isgro over and over again so that you can try everything. So I encourage you to make a trip to South Philly to get a cannoli, or almost any other dessert you can imagine, because Isgro probably has it--along with a few more desserts you haven't even thought of.

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