When Josh and I landed in Venice on Friday morning I told him one of the things I was looking forward to was a fresh, yummy real Italian cannoli. That’s not to say that they aren’t real in the USA, but in my mind, there is nothing more real than one straight from Italy. I remember being told that the freshest ones are the ones that are filled upon ordering. So after checking into our hotel, I pretty much peaked into every pastry shop I saw in Venice in search of a tasty treat.
The funny thing is, cannoli are not my favorite dessert treat – I’m much more a chocolate fan than one of pastries. But once I had this need for a fresh cannoli in my head, I couldn’t get it to leave. I had to have one!! However, much to my disappointment, I couldn’t find one! What, no cannoli in Italy? You can’t be serious!!
So now it had become my absolute mission to find one! What we kept seeing is a cannoli that actually looked like a croissant but was filled with either a vanilla looking or chocolate cream. I now know this is called a cornetto, and it’s actually the more traditional of the two pastries to Italy. The cannoli that we know and love in the US is actually a Sicilian Cannoli and originated in, you guessed it, Sicily. And in actuality, is more of an American Italian pastry than an Italian one. Go figure… I learned something on this trip!
I finally relented after almost a day of walking around and having no luck. I’ll be honest, it’s better than the chocolate filled croissants here, much more of a creamy rather than fudgy texture. But it just wasn’t what I was looking for. Disappointed, I continued on, though half heartedly.
Finally at the end of our first full day, as we were on the mission for an Irish bar to watch the Barca vs Manchester United game, I saw a pastry shop with “Sicilian” traditional cannoli’s out front! Yes!! Sure, they were prefilled, but they were also just what I was looking for. So I grabbed one and enjoyed every last bite.
We happened to go by the same store again on Sunday so of course, not one to be happy with just one of something, had to go back and get another. It might not have been my ideal cannoli, but my mission was accomplished just the same. Perhaps when I go home in a few weeks a trip to Michael’s Pastries in the North End might have to be on my agenda, that way I can go and get a “real” cannoli!