“We Took the Cannoli”: Trip to Messina, Savoca, Tindari, and Palermo, Sicily

I’d love to give you a great recipe for today’s What’s Cooking Wednesday, but although my traveling buddy Cherrye and I are physically back from our Sicilian adventure, my mind, heart, and stomach are still in Palermo:

Cannoli e caffΓ© a Palermo, Sicilia 

We took the cannoli. Get it?

And in case you wondered, no, you have not eaten cannoli until you’ve had cannoli in Sicily. They shouldn’t even be allowed to be called cannoli anywhere else. Seriously.

More details soon.

35 Beans of Wisdom to ““We Took the Cannoli”: Trip to Messina, Savoca, Tindari, and Palermo, Sicily”
  1. 02.27.2008

    oh oh oh πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to hear more…I’ve heard that about cannoli too, so one day I’ll get to Sicily to try them πŸ™‚

    erin’s last blog post..food between carnival & lent

    Erin, I really didn’t believe it myself (Calabria is *so* close to Sicily), but honestly, that ricotta filling was like nothing I’ve ever tasted. So, so, so good.

  2. 02.27.2008

    Oh yum! Yum! I’m having a sugar attack just looking at them… Oh. Yum.

    nova’s last blog post..My New Year

    I assure they are worth a sugar attack πŸ˜‰

  3. Maryann

    But where did you leave the gun, I wonder? πŸ˜‰

    Maryann’s last blog post..Fennel and Tangerine Salad

    Some things are better left in Palermo obviously πŸ˜‰

  4. Rebecca

    OK…this looks like the perfect breakfast dish..I am hoping that the recipe is “up” at least by dinner!

    Rebecca’s last blog post..Election News Release

    Sorry Rebecca, no cannoli recipe today; I’ve actually never made them, and honestly after tasting those in Sicily, I’m not sure I’d even come close to how good they’re *supposed* to be.

  5. 02.27.2008

    The coffee, the cannoli, the catacombs…I can tell this was a great quicky trip!

    Geggie’s last blog post..A friend wants to know…

    Great is really an understatement–can’t wait to start recapping (and reliving)!

  6. 02.27.2008

    Okay, time for me to go get breakfast, because I’m salivating now after viewing that photo. Yumm! Welcome back from your travels! Can’t wait to see more pictures and hear all about it! πŸ™‚


    Christina Arbini’s last blog post..A Weekend Of Celebration

    Christina, I can’t even put into words how good they were. I look forward to sharing more of the trip πŸ™‚

  7. Welcome back!

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

    Grazie πŸ™‚

  8. 02.27.2008


    Diane Mandy’s last blog post..Footless and fancy free

    Yum indeed πŸ™‚

  9. jealousy burns within me like a thousand white-hot suns.

    Michelle @ Us vs. Food’s last blog post..We cannot afford a mine shaft gap.

    But you look good in burn!

  10. 02.27.2008

    I am all with you on the cannoli…there is no dessert in the world better then cannoli from sicily – and only sicily. Imagine how hard it was for me working 7 months in Taormina with a million delicious pastry shops calling my name…

    Leanne’s last blog post..Settling in

    Sicily is definitely a dangerous place for cannoli-lovers πŸ˜‰

  11. 02.27.2008

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Got to go there! πŸ™‚

    Seamus’s last blog post..A Short Story

    Yes Seamus, you truly must!

  12. 02.27.2008

    It’s been over 15 years since I went to Sicily, and I STILL dream of the cannoli I had while I was there. You’re right, they just shouldn’t be allowed to make them anywhere else, because although I’ve been seduced into trying “the best, really!” more than once, nothing has come close.

    Meg’s last blog post..South Pacific, Surgery & The Flu

    You’re very lucky Meg πŸ™‚

  13. Joanne

    My father loves these, almost more than his kids but more than his grandkids!
    There are a couple of places that do them okay in Toronto, and one place here in Milan that does an okay job, but he always says that they way they make them in Sicily can’t compare to anything else. Must be something in the sea air that does it!

    Joanne’s last blog post..2008 International Year of the Potato

    I don’t know what it is, Joanne, but they are noticeably different even from Calabria to Sicily–and we have Sicilians here making them too!

  14. Joanne

    oops meant to say NOT more than his grandkids! ; )

    Joanne’s last blog post..2008 International Year of the Potato

    Don’t worry, I got it πŸ˜‰

  15. 02.27.2008

    This was not the kind of picture I was looking for — I am a leave-the-cannoli kind of guy.

    However, real espresso cups with real espresso spoons will do for the nonce…

    Ooh I’ll take YOUR cannoli then too….

  16. 02.27.2008

    Well, I have had some very good cannoli here in the states — the white box from the bakery sitting on a shelf in the refrigerator used to mesmerize me as a child. But I know you are right, thus I will look forward to tasting “real” cannoli when I visit Sicily.

    One desert for the rest of my life? That’s easy. Cannoli.

    Thank you for this.

    witnessing am i’s last blog post..Mondays

    I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Come soon!

  17. 02.27.2008

    that’s so funny you just said this:

    “And in case you wondered, no, you have not eaten cannoli until you’ve had cannoli in Sicily. They shouldn’t even be allowed to be called cannoli anywhere else. Seriously.”

    about cannoli because I was watching the travel channel just last night and they were in Palermo and the travel guide was very serious about the fact that you haven’t had a cannoli until you’ve had one in Sicily….I didn’t know they were so passionate about making that point!!! πŸ™‚

    they look amazing though!

    Eryn’s last blog post..A Long Weekend in Houston

    Eryn that’s too funny! I’ve actually seen something with Anthony Bourdain in Palermo like this but I wasn’t paying too much attention at the time; I’d love to see it again!

  18. 02.27.2008

    Even the picture has me drooling. I hope you two had wonderful travels.

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday and Queen for a Day

    I had a fabulous time, thanks πŸ™‚ More photos coming!

  19. 02.28.2008

    Then I better haul my cannolis to Sicily to try them!

    So glad you are back, now let’s hear all about it!

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    Wanderlust Scarlett’s last blog post..My Love

    Yes start moving those cannolis immediately! (And stop in Calabria please!)

  20. annie

    I want one!!!

    They look so sinful.

    Sinful tastes goooood πŸ™‚

  21. 02.28.2008

    OOOh Yum ! Sicilian sweets are the best !
    I have to say though my Sicilian mum does make a mean Cannoli πŸ˜‰
    I hope you enjoyed your trip.

    Vee’s last blog post..My Head.

    I believe your Mum does make a mean one! I’d love to try one!

  22. 02.28.2008

    Cannoli are a true favorite with my Sicilian family. We always have them at Christmas, and I can remember my great grandmother making them. My cousins (who make them at Christmas for over 50 of us) still use her recipe that was handed down.


    Bella’s last blog post..Acceptance Speeches

    Mmmm…you’re very lucky to have a great recipe πŸ™‚

  23. 02.28.2008

    Another cannoli lover here. I was fortunate to eat them once in Sicily. I’ve had some pretty good ones in Montalcino, but you are right, Sicily makes them the best.

    Fortunate indeed! And yes, before I had them in Sicily I always thought they were pretty good elsewhere (although truth be told I’m not a huge cannoli lover in general) but then…oh that ricotta!

  24. Gil

    I agree with you on the quality of the cannoli in Sicily. From what I can remember the ricotta used in the filling is even better at this time of the year making the whole cannoli better. Also, the ones I had were filled on the spot and the filling was very close to room temperature thus enhancing the flavor of the ricotta. Finally, I think that they put less sugar in the filling.

    Gil the ricotta was really out of this world good. Our had already been filled (we weren’t at a pasticceria per se) but there weren’t that many left…so I suppose others enjoy them too πŸ˜‰

  25. 02.28.2008

    I can’t wait to find out move about your trip to Sicily, we have wanted to go there for years and it’s one of the first places we plan to visit when we get a chance, maybe a road trip from here to the South, we could say hi to you on the way! I can almost taste the cannoli, I love sweet ricotta in any form. People have strange ideas about this dolce and I’ve had some terrible cannoli in my time, the worst in England filled with sickly milk chocolate butter cream yuk! Did you try the pasta? As if …

    amanda’s last blog post..Cold and luckless

    Yes do stop and say hello! Amanda of course we had to have Pasta alla Norma…mmm…all in due time πŸ˜‰

  26. 02.28.2008

    So glad you had a good time on your trip!!! It is nice that you had the chance to travel in Italy…. Can’t wait for the details!!!

    My Melange’s last blog post..French Flowers

    We’re very lucky to be so close to so much cool (and delicious) stuff πŸ˜‰ Details forthcoming!

  27. Mary

    Yumm, those cannoli look decadent! I’m sure they were absolutely delicious. Funny thing is, they make something up here called cannoli that is totally different. It’s cone-shaped and filled with a custardy-cream – very good, but not the same as Sicilian cannoli.

    Oh that’s funny! But even better? Your comment finally made it through my spam filter on the first try! Woohoo!!!!

  28. 02.28.2008

    I agree completely! Cannoli (cassata and granita too) can only be truly called by their name in Sicily, anywhere else is an imitation.
    sounds like fun.

    Sooo much fun! And I look forward to getting back for some cassata and granita πŸ˜‰

  29. 02.28.2008

    yes yes it was Anthony Bourdain when they were in Palermo……i guess we both caught it πŸ™‚

    Eryn’s last blog post..Sam’s coming!

    Hah! Too funny! I actually caught it a few weeks ago–long enough ago that I didn’t know we’d be headed there unfortunately!

  30. Of course, but I’m disappointed that you would own a gun. πŸ˜‰

    PS-I’m sorry about not commenting lately. I resubscribed but my reader wasn’t updating. I just did it again, so I hope it’ll be working again.

    Susan from Food Blogga’s last blog post..Kona Kampachi with Meyer Lemon-Thyme Butter

    No worries Susan! I’ve been terrible about commenting from being away, so I’m just catching up myself. I hope the reader is working better! Is it Google? It seems to dislike me for some reason….

  31. jody

    Those looks soooo delicious!

    jody’s last blog post..Some dingo love

    And they were πŸ™‚

  32. 03.01.2008

    This brought so many memories of my Sicilian grandmother! She wouldn’t let us buy a cannoli ANYWHERE in New York, because she made the real thing.

    natala’s last blog post..A story to be told

    Hah, I have to agree with your Nonna πŸ˜‰

  33. 03.01.2008

    When I moved from Catania to Catanzaro, I was so excited the first time I saw cannoli and arancini, which I thought I had left behind in Sicily. And then I tried them and realized that yes, in fact, I had left them behind: Sicilian goodies should be eaten in Sicily. And, naturally, Calabrian goodies in Calabria.

    pizzocalabro’s last blog post..Breaking News from the Onion News Network

    I had to laugh when I saw a sign for a Muffuletta Calabrese since, you know, we don’t have them here πŸ˜‰

  34. 03.13.2008

    My husband’s cousin bought him 2 dozen Cannoli when we were in Catania… I hate them over here but the ones in Italy were delicious…

    Felicity’s last blog post..Ultimate Blog Party

    The difference is truly amazing Felicity–and I didn’t believe it either until I tasted them in Sicily.

  35. 04.06.2011

    It is my most favorite desert I could eat them until there is no more room in my belly


Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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