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Cassata or Cassata siciliana is a traditional sweet from the area of Palermo, Sicily (Italy). It has a characteristic striped green-and-white form. Cassata may also refer to a Neapolitan ice cream containing candied or dried fruit and nuts.

Left: Cassata alla siciliana.

The cassata siciliana consists of round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese, candied peel, and a chocolate or vanilla filling similar to cannoli cream. It is covered with a shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel colored icing, and decorative designs. The cassata is finally topped with candied fruit depicting cherries and slices of citrus fruit characteristic of Sicily.

When making a cassata, layers of gelato (Italian ice cream) can be substituted for the layers of cheese, producing a dessert similar to an ice cream cake.

As with Sicilian cannoli, Sicilian cassata probably date back to the time of Arab domination.


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