Trying Cannoli In Rome

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 fancy bakeries are not common.
We have Greggs, but no G…
(I was going to write the name of a fancy bakery that began with G, but I really don’t know enough about fancy bakeries to do so. So that backfired).

But regardless, I love trying foods in the country where they were most notably conceived. Most 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 we were 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 around with S, taking in the sights when hunger struck.
We didn’t want anything too filling because we had dinner plans in two hours, and I’d already had my fill of gelato for the day. Which is when we decided that now was the time to hunt down some cannoli. After a quick search on Google we 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 we were (Vatican City) and where we going (dinner) so was perfect.

Side note: I just remembered that the Vatican City is a country.
So technically we changed countries to get dessert.
I wish I could say it’s the first time this has happened, but I’m sure you remember this.

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 – I swear, I am a terrible blogger when hungry.

L’Involtino was quiet when we arrived. 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 we had been subjected to during our time in St Peter’s Square.

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. 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.

It’s a good job that we only ordered one because I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so big!
The pastry was crispy, messy to eat and S had to get me napkins because I got crumbs, cream and chocolate everywhere. But it was worth it, because it was pretty dang tasty.

I couldn’t finish the whole thing (gasp) because it was huge, but the half that I ate, I enjoyed.

I gave the remaining half to S. He doesn’t like pistachios (weirdo) so couldn’t finish the whole thing, but he enjoyed what was left after he picked around the nutty topping!

All in all, I’d say that it was a lovely thing to try, and L’Involtino was delicious.
But for me – it’s a callo-no. So for now, tiramisu and gelato still sit top of my Italian sweet treat favourites!

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What about you – have you ever tried cannoli?
Let me know in the comments!
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