Friday, July 01, 2005

Souvenirs: Cannoli



I didn't bring anything home from Agrigento, except photographs, memories, and a new-found taste for cannoli. Someday I will make my own cannoli (once I overcome my fear of deep fat frying), but for now I'll have to make do with store bought. Actually, my original plan was to purchase cannoli shells and some good ricotta and make my own filling. However, when I stopped in a nearby Italian market, I found the shells but not the ricotta. At the register I spied a sign that said "Cannoli - $1.99", so I abruptly changed my plans, returned the shells to the shelf and requested one cannoli (well, technically I guess that would be one cannolo). The shell was dense, but not crispy. The chocolate was nearly tasteless. The filling was pleasantly sweet, but had little else to recommend it. It just wasn't the same. So sad.

11 comments:

Nic said...

That is sad, Cathy. I find it hard to trust store bought cannoli, especially when they are already filled. I think you have the right idea about making the filling yourself. Otherwise, try and find a good bakery.

Stephanie said...

You know, I've never had cannoli, either. I keep meaning to get around to it, but as rarely as we're out, I usualy opt for the cheesecake, instead!

I grew up with lots of fat-frying (funnel cakes!), so that part doesn't bother me so much. Perhaps I should just go ahead and make some myself?

Cathy said...

Hi Nic - that sounds like a very worthwhile (and rewarding!)pursuit... checking out all the local bakeries in search of the best cannoli! I'll have to do that. I think I'll also try the store bought shells.

Hi Stephanie - one of my hang-ups since I was a kid has been cheese based desserts, so I've avoided cheesecake and cannoli all my life. I think the cannoli was a turning point for me - next chance I get for some really good cheesecake, I'm takin' it!

I think the only difficult part of making the cannoli is frying the shells, so sounds like that would be a good option for you. The other tricky part is finding some good ricotta. You should try to find some fresh-made, but that may be easier said than done. Lyn has a great post on making ricotta.

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

I haven't eaten cannoli in ages, but I thought about it again when I saw this post of yours. I have a wonderful recipe that a friend from Bergamo gave me. I think I'm going to try it sometime.

Cathy said...

Hi Reid - Do try it! I'd love to hear about it when you do.

rowena said...

Yikes! Pity to hear about that store-bought cannolo. Come on Cathy! Try out a recipe for this stuff and post it. I was thinking to go ahead and do one myself, but being that you have the idea here, it lets me off the hook. ;-)

Cathy said...

Hi Rowena - well I have a recipe (from a cookbook I bought in Sicily), I could always make my own ricotta if I can't find fresh, so I just need cannoli tubes and the nerve to deep fat fry. I'm shopping now for cannoli tubes and will work on the last bit!

shannon said...

Def. look for a place that has fresh shells and fills them when you order - that's always a good sign! Chocolote dipped ones stay "fresher" longer - so we avoid them! Soemitmes a sign that the shells are a little older then they should be.

Cathy said...

Hi Shannon! Thanks for the tip - It wouldn't have occurred to me that a chocolate dipped one might be older.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

i'm in Tucson,Arizona and have not found real canoli yet. My search has not been extensive so I mean to slight no one here yet.
The ones I got were prefilled with some sick sweet concoction and fresh filled with the same glop.
I got some at an Italian Deli as a kid in New York and I thought I'd gone to heaven.
I will make my own. I will get good at making my own and then I will make and sell them so I can retire sooner.
Pete in Tucson

Cathy said...

Hi Pete - that sounds like a good plan! I was just given a deep fat fryer, so I may also be making my own cannoli very soon!