After some shopping in Chinatown this afternoon for ingredients for tomorrow's picnic in Golden Gate Park, I popped into Stella's to check out the cannoli action. The refrigerated case had a whole tray of filled cannoli ($3.50) ready to go. I asked the clerk if there were any shells that could be filled to order instead of taking one of those. She assured me that this was a fresh tray, assembled just 15 minutes ago.
The shells looked great, a deep golden brown full of bubbled, voids and craters. And, the filling had a plump and lusterous look that seemed like they hadn't been sitting for too long. That said, the taste test showed them to be just okay. The ricotta was nothing special and the chocolate chips were too big. The shell wasn't soggy, but it didn't have that shattering, crispy crackle to it. After a couple bites, I abandoned the rest of it.