Who knew we didn’t have to travel to the island of Sicily to have a taste of their famous cannoli? Thanks to the opening of Dolce Ragusa last week, we no longer have to tread a long travel to have a taste of Italy! I was invited to their opening by Ms. Arwa Alhenaky, their Development Manager and Chef as well via email to an event that seemed to be located at a very familiar spot. I arrived at past 8 in the evening and walked towards the venue, only to second guess myself if it was a guys only event. There were a large number of Saudi men standing outside and I could see a security detail in the midst, which I assumed to be for the delegates of the Italian Embassy here in Riyadh, who were the guests of honor in the opening ceremony.
It was a bit unnerving for me to be standing in public amidst an almost male Saudi crowd while right beside a traffic light in the middle of Dhabab Street. Maybe I’ve been in Riyadh too long that I have an ingrown anxiety about mixing in public. But Saudi ladies started showing up too until we were around the same number outside the store waiting for the ribbon cutting ceremony to happen. In true Riyadh fashion, the male kept to the left and we stayed on the right as the Italian delegates cut the ribbon and applauded the opening of Dolce Ragusa.
Ragusa, by the way, is the capital city of the province of Sicily in Italy. Dolce means “sweet” hence I can deduce that the name of the place means “Sweet Ragusa.” Interestingly enough, the place was actually a simple patisserie shop and in all fairness, I don’t think all the people who attended the opening can even fit inside the store at once. But kudos to them for a very successful turnout! They started serving cannoli to the people outside while some braved to enter the small shop to take photos (myself included).
According to Chef Arwa, what they have made available so far are the Large/Mini Cannoli (chocolate, cinnamon or almond flavor), Aragosta (crunchy croissant pastry), Profiteroles (cream puffs), Torta Corallo (espresso cake) and the Roll Cake.
The cannoli are the highlight of Dolce Ragusa. Inside this crusty pastry shell is a decadent blend of ricotta cheese and selected flavors of almond, cinnamon or chocolate. There are small, light versions and others come in larger portions. The authentic Italians in the room told me that this is where their “power” comes from. If it was a joke, I didn’t get it. Haha!
If you’re interested in getting some “Italian power” for dessert, visit Dolce Ragusa and have a try the cannoli. It’s not overly sweet, but the minis are good enough for me (it was a challenge to consume the larger ones). Their products are guaranteed to be baked fresh daily and you won’t have to travel to Sicily! It is just located before the McDonald’s in Dhabab Street, right beside the traffic light and Jan Burger. 🙂