Sampling my first cannoli in Rome was a messy experience.
Ok, so technically I ate cannolo because I only ate one.
But before we get to that, let’s rewind a little.
I remember reading a post by Adventurous Kate a few years ago. I couldn’t tell you what the post was about, only that she swore that if you were to ever eat cannoli, you should never opt for ones that have been pre-filled. Instead, the filling in a cannolo should always be piped fresh.
This advice stuck with me through the years and across countries.
You see, I read the post in England but in my neck of the words European bakeries are not common. Think more along the lines of Greggs. But regardless, I love trying foods in the country where they were most notably conceived. Some people have bucket lists, I have whatever the name is for the food equivalent. So, with a lack of options in England and a desire for the above, I decided to wait until I was in Italy to try my very first cannolo. I would have loved to of eaten cannoli where it originates from (Sicily) but I was in Rome, so this wasn’t really an option.
I’d been strolling St Peter’s Square, taking in the sights when hunger struck. I didn’t want anything too filling because I had dinner plans in two hours, and I’d already had my fill of gelato for the day. Which is when I decided that now was the time to hunt down some cannoli. After a quick search on Google I found a few places that were selling them. Two were closed, one had terrible reviews but the other was reasonably rated and was close to both where I was (Vatican City) and where I was going (Ragno D’oro) so was perfect.
Side note: I just remembered that the Vatican City is a country.
So technically I changed countries to get dessert.
I wish I could say it’s the first time this has happened, but I drove to Belgium because I fancied waffles once, so we both know it’s not.
The place was called L’Involtino and its tagline said that it made Sicilian street food. The cafe itself is tucked away from the main path, but I didn’t take a picture of the shopfront because I was too keen to get inside. #Hunger
L’Involtino was quiet. It’s location didn’t have much foot traffic going it’s way so was pretty empty at our time of arrival, but this was a welcome break from the crowds I had been subjected to during my time in Vatican City.
But the quiet nature of the store shouldn’t put you off. Because when you step inside you can see the counter, and it is filled with empty tube-shaped cannoli shells. Perfect pieces of fried pastry dough just waiting to be filled with whatever sweet, creamy filling goes into those things.
Side note: I googled.
The filling is typically made with ricotta, candied fruit and icing sugar.
Every day’s a school day!
As I stared at the empty shells waiting for my turn to order, Kate’s advice popped back into my head. They were unfilled. This has got to be a good sign, right? I ordered my cannoli filled with pistachios and dark chocolate sprinkled on top. It looked great, so I sat down on a table to tuck in.
The pastry was crispy, messy to eat and I got crumbs, cream and chocolate everywhere. But it was worth it. I couldn’t finish the whole thing (gasp) because it was huge, but the half that I ate, I enjoyed.