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June 6, 2024 45 mins

These ricotta-filled, deep-fried pastries are the stuffed stuff of slightly bawdy legends. Anney and Lauren shell out the science and history of cannoli.

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Speaker 1 (00:09):
Hello, and welcome to Saber production of iHeartRadio. I'm Annie
Redio and.

Speaker 2 (00:12):
I'm Lauren Moglbaum, and today we have an episode for
you about Connolly.

Speaker 1 (00:17):
Yes, and happy belated birthday to you, Lauren, thank you.

Speaker 2 (00:22):
Yes. Yeah, I was super sick on a birthday, so
we didn't record this episode earlier, but here we are.

Speaker 3 (00:30):
Yes.

Speaker 1 (00:32):
Yes, this episode is late for a couple of reasons.
One was illness.

Speaker 2 (00:37):
Uh huh uh huh. There's also a whole lot of
union action that happened. We have a union here at
iHeart Podcasts, and we have been working on our first
contract for two years, two years, and we have finally
reached one.

Speaker 1 (00:55):
I believe, and I think.

Speaker 2 (00:58):
I think it's happening. I think it's happening. I think
that we're all going to have a hecking nicer workplace
and hopefully get to retain some of the amazing, talented,
kind humans who work with us for longer. I would
love that.

Speaker 1 (01:13):
Yes, yes, yeah, we do get to work with amazing, kind,
talented humans.

Speaker 2 (01:19):
Gosh, they're so good.

Speaker 1 (01:21):
They really are, they really are. And Lauren was a
big part of that of making sure that it happened
and working on it so thank you, Lauren. Oh yeah,
I feel like you should have a big now that
you're not once you feel like out of the woods
sickness wise, but once you feel completely better and now

(01:42):
we've got this union thing, we could we could have
a little celebration.

Speaker 2 (01:45):
Oh yeah, so many parties, like infinite parties. Yeah, yes,
a little bit more sleep first, then yes, many parties.

Speaker 1 (01:54):
It could be nice as a celebratory thing to be like,
you know what, I'm just going to sleep after this.

Speaker 2 (02:00):
Oh yeah.

Speaker 1 (02:00):
But if you're wondering what canoli has to do with
birthday celebrations, Laurian, why did you choose? Why was this
on your mind?

Speaker 2 (02:10):
I was trying to think of a relevant me birthday topic,
something that I'm personally excited about. And I heck and
love Cannoli. I love them so much. I am, in fact,
currently aggressively angry that I am not eating a canoli.
I mean, I wouldn't do that on Mike, I wouldn't
do that to y'all. But but but like, heck, I

(02:34):
I mean, I did this one to myself. But the
cravings were especially strong with this one.

Speaker 1 (02:42):
That's the thing is, when you do an episode, you
have an idea for something you love. Yeah, and then
it comes back and you're you're like, oh, yeah, I
forgot about this part of during the episode, which is
that I want to eat this right now and I
do not have it.

Speaker 2 (02:57):
Yeah. Yeah, I've been doing nothing but like about and
looking at pictures of Connolly for like two days. So
here we are get you that.

Speaker 1 (03:08):
Oh well, hole, it will But yes, I when I
first started this show, I had this idea of I'll
be big on social media, which did not happen, but
I was trying it for a minute. And I went
to Boston for a wedding and I had I just
have friends from Boston or know about Boston. Yeah, and

(03:30):
I think we're going to talk about it in this episode.
But there's a couple of famous Connolly places in Boston.

Speaker 2 (03:35):
Oh yeah.

Speaker 1 (03:36):
And so if you go back, I'm not suggesting that
you do, but if you go back and look at
my Instagram and like one of the first post is
of Connolly. And then I got to Boston. Yeah, when
I was doing like my tour of food there. It's
like a lobster role things like that. But that's every
time I think of the Canoli, I think of huh

(03:59):
and it was time his wedding was in a museum.

Speaker 2 (04:03):
Oh that's delightful. Oh goodness.

Speaker 3 (04:05):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (04:06):
I have also had some Boston Connoli. I do not
remember what places I went when I ate them. I
was out there, who like a few work lifetimes ago,
when I was working for this little marketing company with
Dave Kusten, super producer here at iHeart podcasts, and yeah, yeah,

(04:30):
he made Hecken sure that I got a cannoli during
one of my trips out there. As as always delicious,
so good. I've you know, I guess that they are
like a better Connoli and worse connoly, But I don't
think I've ever eaten one and gone like, oh man,
I regret doing this. It's basically just like I'm eating
a cannoli. This is the best.

Speaker 1 (04:51):
I have two follow up questions, Okay, One was this
when you wore the lobster outfit? And two do you
have a go to canoli flavor?

Speaker 2 (05:03):
This was not when I wore the lobster outfit. That
was like several more work lifetimes before that one. Uh,
And I was not in Boston at the time. I
was advertising for a convention that was going to be
in Boston. Later I see, uh huh, uh huh. If

(05:25):
you haven't heard of the lobster costume, I, oh goodness,
I have been meaning speaking of social media to kind
of get back onto social media. It's hard y'all because
like the world is really on fire, and I feel
very silly posting about like like like, oh man, let
me talk about a canolo right now, Like that's see.

(05:47):
It seems wrong, it seems wrong and impolite, but I
also feel like that kind of thing is needed and
nice and it's refreshing sort of unlike a canolo. What
was part two? Part two was I've already forgotten flavor,

(06:07):
you know.

Speaker 1 (06:07):
I like.

Speaker 2 (06:07):
I like the kind of the purity of a of
just the shell and the filling. A little bit of
chocolate in there, doesn't need to be fancy.

Speaker 1 (06:16):
M hm, well, like you said, and can be great.

Speaker 3 (06:22):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (06:22):
Do you have a preference? Do you have a preference?

Speaker 1 (06:26):
I don't have much experience, to be honest, but when
I I believe I went to the famous place in
Boston MIC's oh uh huh. I think I liked like
it was like a cream and with tiny chocolate chips
in there, or tiny chocolate something there that was my favorite.
That one was really solid. But there's a whole world

(06:50):
I've learned. Yes, yes, mm hmm. Well you can see
some of our past episodes we've done ricotta, although just
a whole I trust you to find specify.

Speaker 2 (07:04):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I will go through a number of
them in the rest of this episode. Plenty of recommendations
for other episodes to check out.

Speaker 1 (07:14):
Yes, all right, but I guess that brings us to
our question.

Speaker 2 (07:18):
Sure, yeah, all right.

Speaker 1 (07:20):
Canola what are they?

Speaker 2 (07:26):
Well? Uh, Canoli can be many things, but at their
basic they are a type of sweet pastry made up
of like a flat circle of wheat flour dough wrapped
into this open ended tube shape and then deep fried
to a to a bubbly, structural crisp and piped full
of some kind of sweet, creamy filling. Often some take

(07:48):
on sweetened ricotta. They can come in all kinds of varieties,
though the shell can be plain or seasoned, the filling
simple or like custardy. You can dip the shell and
chocolate or spring gold, a filling at the ends with
shaved chocolate or chopped nuts or candied fruit, or dust
the whole thing in cinnamon, sugar, or powdered sugar or
flavor the filling with spices or fruit or citrus zest

(08:10):
or cocoa or chocolate chips or booze or whatever. They
are usually handheld in size, meant to be like a
single individual serving, and they are served chilled or room
temperature as a deserter or snack, often with coffee. They
are so rich but feel light and airy, with this
textured crunch of the shell giving way to this like pillowy,

(08:33):
melting bit of cream filling. They're like an open ended
fried hand pie, like a like a non frozen ice
cream sandwich. They're like they're like if you trapped like
a little sweet cream rain cloud with a deep fried net.
They're just so dreamy. They are so dreamy.

Speaker 1 (08:55):
Yeah, they really are.

Speaker 2 (08:59):
I hope you can feel the whist.

Speaker 1 (09:04):
I can feel it, Lauren.

Speaker 2 (09:08):
Okay. So, one of the one of the important things
in canola is the contrast in texture from the shell
versus the filling. So as you're making each you're doing
everything you can to keep that shell like thin and
crisp and that filling smooth and thick. I will note
here the canola are things that people have like capital

(09:31):
o opinions about I read at least a dozen recipes,
and some of them verdantly disagreed with each other about
what is like proper or correct or even like like
like what you're going for in general. I'm just I'm

(09:52):
just reporting the facts.

Speaker 1 (09:54):
Yep.

Speaker 2 (09:55):
I would not. I would I would never. I would
never presume. We don't presume here, No, no, no, y'all
tell us. Oh. And also a linguistic note that has
already sort of sort of come up conversationally. Connoli is
technically plural in Italian group languages, the singular is canolo,

(10:16):
though certainly outside of Italy and especially Sicily, which is
where they're from, you might hear cannoli used as a
singular and then pluralized to Canoli's.

Speaker 1 (10:26):
Yeah. I had a moment. I had a moment of panic, Lauren,
and I was like, I think it's this, And then
I read something else. I was like, oh no, it's
so I went and corrected it twice. Oh yeah, and
then I went back to what I had originally, and
together we will find out. Yeah, if I got it right.

Speaker 2 (10:48):
I think I've already used cannoli in the singular once
so far. So here we are here we are anyway. Okay,
let's talk about the shell. So what you're doing here
is making a sort of like rich pie or pastry
crust that's elastic enough to hold up to the stress
of forming and frying, but they will also turn out
like stiff but fragile, like a like like pastry glass.

(11:11):
You know, flaky is not quite the right concept, but
it's close. You want like kind of like light layers
that will puff to a crisp in the fryer. So
if you're familiar with like pie crusts or biscuits, you're
going to use some of the same techniques here. The
fat that you use in the dough should be a
solid one, and you don't want to like totally pulverize it.
Leaving small lumps is going to help create pockets in

(11:34):
the finished shell. But because the lumps will hold space
in the dough and then melt and evaporate in the fryer,
lard is the most traditional fat, but butter or shortening
work too. You want to keep the dough cool so
that the fat doesn't melt before it goes in the fryer.
This typically means working it fairly quickly and like refrigerating

(11:54):
it before frying. You also don't want a lot of
gluten to develop in the dough, which would make it
kind of bready and maybe tough. To that end, most
recipes i've seen do call for eggs in the batter,
the more yolk than white. This will help keep the
dough soft and pliable. Also, instead of water in the dough,
which could spur gluten development, most recipes call for wine

(12:18):
or vinegar or lemon juice or some combination thereof. This
will add a little bit of flavor to the dough,
and if you're using alcohol, it will evaporate more quickly
than water, its boiling point is lower than water, and
help create air pockets. Marsala wine, which is a type
of fortified wine similar to sherry, is the most traditional
thing here. There are a lot of varieties of that,

(12:41):
but I think you're looking for a sweet one. It'll
add a little bit of like nutty, fruity caramel flavor
to the shell. You can see our episode on sherry.
We'll have to do one on Marsala sometime. Some recipes
further call for baking soda in the dough to act
as a chemical leavener, which will react with whatever acid
you've added to help the dough puff up. For seasoning

(13:01):
and color, it's common to add a bit of cinnamon
or cocoa powder or instant coffee powder to the shell,
though if you're working with the latter two, it can
make it like hard to watch for the correct color
change when you're frying, so I've seen some recipes discourage that.
A lot of recipes recommend rolling out your dough using
a pasta roller to easily get it like evenly thin,

(13:25):
but you can do it by hand. A ring cutter
will help you quickly cut your discs, but any old
circular shape will do. The circles are commonly like three
to four inches in diameter, that's about a eight to
thirteen centimeters, but again, you do you. Also, speaking of
special equipment, I've even seen recipes recommend using a pizzelee

(13:47):
press to cut out patterned circles of dough. But the
one piece of equipment that you really do need is
going to be a canoley mold. These days, these are
like simple and expensive stainless steel tubes that come in
various lengths and diameters and can be purchased from pretty
much any like bakery or restaurant supply shop. You just

(14:07):
wrap a disk of dough loosely around it, seal the
flap over edge with a little bit of water egg white,
and then you can dunk the whole thing into fry
oil until the shell is golden brown after cooling on
a rack or on paper towels. The shells should pretty
easily slip off the mold. They shouldn't be super attached
in the first place. The fry oil also matters. Experts

(14:28):
recommend solid fats here too, and the finished shells will
be like a bubbly golden brown, a little bit like
a fried wanton wrapper looks, but they should be crisp
all the way through, not chewy. Yeah. Okay, so you've
got the shells, let's talk about the filling. So you

(14:49):
are using ricotta as a base. You can see our
ricotta episode for lots more about this. But it is
a fresh cheese made from whey instead of curd, so
it's soft and moist and lumpy, with like a mild brightness.
The perhaps most traditional choice here is sheep milk workatta,
which tends to be a little bit more tangy and
funky than cow milk. Workatta, though I understand Eastern sicily

(15:13):
uses more cow milk. Either way, you are looking to
minimize moisture and maximize like fluffiness, so you drain or
press the ricotta before using it. I will say you
don't want to stress the rikatta too hard once it's drained,
or it will start like breaking up and giving off
water again. Recommendations include not using mechanical devices to whip it,

(15:35):
don't put it in your stand mixer, don't use a
hand mixer, and rather press it through a fine sieve.
Sieve sure to reduce the size of the curd if
a smoother is what you're going for here. Some recipes
add fresh goat cheese to the mix to make it
kind of like funkier and brighter, or moriscapone to make
it creamier. I've seen other additions from like pastry cream

(15:57):
to straight up vanilla pudding to help create ate a smooth,
rich filling. Don't come at me, I'm just reporting what
i've seen. You're going to add sugar to taste. A
lot of recipes call for powdered sugar, but I've read
the argument that this makes the filling like really pasty. Instead,
you can use granulated sugar and let the filling rest
in the fridge for like at least an hour so

(16:18):
that that sugar will dissolve evenly. Again, I'm not going
to tell you what to do. Seasonings like vanilla, rose water,
orange flower water, citrus zest, almond extract, or cinnamon or
some combination thereof are common here. Some recipes will call
for nixons like chocolate chunks or candied citrus peel to

(16:38):
go in the body of the filling. And yeah, if possible,
you want to fill the shells right before serving so
they don't get soggys. Though you can cheat a bit
by coating the inside of the shell with melted chocolate
to create like a moisture barrier. And I will say
there has been scientific research into how to achieve this
unlike an industrial scale without using chocolate. The researchers recommended

(17:01):
coating the inside of a shell with a super thin
layer of glycerol.

Speaker 1 (17:08):
That's amazing, yep, yep.

Speaker 2 (17:10):
Yep, Okay, once it's filled. The toppings, yeah, some kind
of chocolate or crushed pistachios or a candied orange peel
or candied cherry are the most common, along with like
a pretty sprinkle of powdered sugar. But really anything goes.
You can make the shell out of any kind of flour.
You can add any flavoring to the filling. I've seen

(17:32):
coconut canoli, Keeylime pie, CANOLEI Natella cheesecake, crim breulet oreo.
They're also kind of like stunt canoli that are these
gigantic shells filled with dozens or even hundreds of mini canoli.
And now we have canoli chips and dip, which are

(17:53):
sort of like a deconstructed canola platter with like sweet
fried dough chips and then filling to dip them in.

Speaker 1 (18:01):
Wow.

Speaker 2 (18:02):
Yeah, yeah, these days you can also buy the shells
and the filling pre made and assembled them at home,
if that's the thing that you want to do.

Speaker 1 (18:10):
Interesting, Yes, listeners, please write in about any and all
of this.

Speaker 2 (18:16):
Oh yes, if you have a strong opinion, as you know,
we love those and would love to hear them. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (18:22):
Have you ever made them or.

Speaker 2 (18:23):
I have certainly not. I am difficult. I'm a little
terrified of frying. Yeah, yeah, that's where I stand.

Speaker 1 (18:35):
Fair enough. Well, what about the nutrition treats?

Speaker 2 (18:40):
Are nice?

Speaker 1 (18:41):
They are that they are well you have some numbers
for you.

Speaker 2 (18:47):
We do, okay, So, according to a company called Venture
Market Research, can only are a forty billion dollar a
year industry. But I'll note here that Venture Market Research
all so apparently doesn't know how to make a pie chart.
So I'm not sure if this is an accurate number.

Speaker 1 (19:06):
They're too focused on canoli, they can't think about pie.

Speaker 2 (19:09):
That's fair. That's fair, good point, good point.

Speaker 1 (19:12):
Valid.

Speaker 2 (19:16):
Modern factories like Siciliana Canoli produce some two hundred and
forty thousand canoli shells per day. These mostly go out
to bakeries and other food service establishments that don't want
to make their own, but there are definitely industrial bakeries
like this that's all to the public. Local shops around

(19:37):
Sicily that make cannoli by hand may create some thousand
per day. I've read that it's traditional to serve canoli
and platters of twelve or like multiples of twelve as
a sort of a lucky or prosperous number. You all
rite in. Conoly are sometimes the subject of eating contests.

(19:58):
There is a Guinness record for the most conoly eaten
in thirty seconds. It was set in twenty eighteen in
Australia by Jesse Freeman, who consumed eight conoli during that
time thirty seconds in thirty seconds, All right, Annie, is

(20:19):
like coping with that. And then this one wasn't like
a recorded record. But I saw a New York City
News article about one contest where an amateur contestant eight
twenty five canoli in six minutes.

Speaker 1 (20:40):
I think I might be lying awake thinking about this one, Lauren.

Speaker 2 (20:43):
Yeah, uh well, there's still on records. There's a Guinness
record for the longest canolo. It was achieved in twenty
twenty two in a Cael Tennesseeta Sicily and it was
twenty one one point four to three meters long, that

(21:03):
is seventy feet three inches. It was filled with over
fifteen hundred pounds of ricata. It's like six hundred and
eighty kilos. From the photos it looks to be, it
looked like it was like maybe like eight inches tall. Yeah,

(21:23):
in diameter maybe like twenty centimeters or so. It took
eighty people twelve hours to create and was shared with
the public and local charities.

Speaker 1 (21:36):
That's quite the endeavor and achievement it is. It is.

Speaker 2 (21:39):
I am impressed.

Speaker 1 (21:40):
I am impressed. Yeah, legitimately yeah, kind of taken aback.

Speaker 2 (21:44):
Yeah, yeah, concerned, perhaps, yes, impressed. There are festivals. One
outside of Palermo, Sicily, in the town Piano Dejly Albanesi.
Happens every April. It's called Conolian Friends, which I loved
so much. In addition to the usual like food and

(22:06):
drink and art markets, there is an international dessert competition.
There's also a I read Canolo eating marathon without a
lot of further explanation that I yep yeap. Pianna has
like a particularly intense Canoli tradition. It is one of

(22:28):
the hot spots of Conoley in Sicily, and I do
get the idea that there are like several small towns
around Sicily that hold annual Canoly celebrations that include like
folk music and dancing and food and wine. If you
have been to one of these, please write in uh.
There's also a Conole festival in Massachusetts every October twenty

(22:51):
twenty four should be it's eight year running. It's in Lemonster, Massachusetts.
I looked it up. I think I'm saying that right.
As of twenty twenty three, there were eight bakeries participating,
plus a live band and a wine in beer.

Speaker 1 (23:06):
Garden sounds lovely. It does. It does.

Speaker 2 (23:10):
Also in twenty twenty two, Bloomberg positive that canoley quote
are poised to be the next cupcake of the global
dessert scene.

Speaker 1 (23:23):
Oh I love that so much. I love how we
have these trends and we define the trend by the
last by the last trend, right right, the next cupcake,
the next cupcake will be conoli. What yes, and then
whatever's after that will be the next canoe. I love it.

Speaker 2 (23:45):
I think it's also I think it's always going to
be the next cupcake. I think that that was kind
of like a really defining moment in dessert popularity in
the United States.

Speaker 1 (23:53):
Anyway, that's true, that's true. We did an episode on that, right, yeah, yeah,
past episode. Yeah, there you go, there we go. Well,
there is quite the history behind all of this.

Speaker 2 (24:05):
Oh, there certainly is, and we are going to get
into that as soon as we get back from a
quick break forward from our sponsors.

Speaker 1 (24:20):
And we're back. Thank you sponsor, Yes, thank you. Okay. So,
the history of cannoli is widely traced back to the
Middle Ages. Some sources suggest that they were specifically created
during the time when sicily was ruled by Arabs.

Speaker 2 (24:38):
Okay, So, Sicily is a large island in the Mediterranean
off the boot tip of mainland Italy. Being a strategic
location with like historically good agricultural qualities means that it
changed hands a lot in ancient through post classical times
and one of the periods that really influenced the food

(24:58):
ways there was this relive stively short period of a
Muslim Arab rule from about the middle of the eight
hundred CE through the middle of the ten hundred CE.

Speaker 1 (25:08):
And one popularly told legend, and I want to emphasize
this is a legend asserts that canoley were invented in
the ninth century in Sicily by a quote castle or
city of women. In other words, yes, it's popularly reported
a harem. The women took an interest in food preparation,

(25:31):
and allegedly they came up with connoli to honor their groom.
In honor of their groom, and the phallic shape was
very purposeful to reiter eight. There are no written records
of this, but it is a very eye catching and
popular story.

Speaker 2 (25:51):
Yeah, this is part of kind of like the mythology
of this one central Sicily town now called town a
seta built around Pietro Rosa castle which is now a ruin,
and from my brief reading known is sure like when
it was built during or prior to air rule, but
it's surrounded by farmland, and a less salacious version of

(26:12):
the story goes that it became known as a castle
of women simply because like the ladies would hole up
there during battles or while men were out working the fields.
Although this is like equally potentially apocryphal. Yeah, so anyway, anyway.

Speaker 1 (26:30):
It was during this time under air rule. Ingredients like
cinnamon were introduced to Sicily through trade routes.

Speaker 2 (26:36):
Yes, though the air rulers also brought agricultural products for
cultivation to Sicily around this time, like citrus, pistachios, and
sugar cane. Some legends say that the cane from sugar
was the first mold used for wrapping canoli shells. Others
say it was plain old river reeds, and some tales
say that this is where the word cannoli comes from,

(27:00):
like a word for caine becoming conolo. Whatever the case,
sweeteners from cane sugar may have started to replace honey
in Sicilian desserts around this time, though it'd still be
a few centuries until refined sugar was more affordable and available. Also,
I don't know when this next bit came about, but

(27:20):
just wanted to throw it in here. I understand that
candied winter squash was like the original candied fruit topping.

Speaker 1 (27:28):
Ooh yeah, all right. Well, after Sicily was largely converted
to Catholicism in the eleventh century, monasteries and convents and
nuns specifically took over conoli production. However, CONNOLLI looked at
this time, the nuns would protect the recipes and they

(27:50):
would pass them down without ever physically documenting them. Beginning
in the fourteenth century in Sicily, the nuns would provide
sweets for the aristocracy in the area, and these were
called dels riz or sweet shops, and they were a
significant source of income for these religious institutions. We've talked

(28:11):
about this before as well. Yes, around the time, connoli
were usually associated with celebrations in religious festivals. The tradition
of serving anatomically suggestive dishes at these types of events
in order to get closer to deities, or to spirituality,
or to highlight fertility is one that dates back to

(28:33):
ancient times, and connoli are part of this tradition. Oh yeah,
people really leaned into it, and in some cases, apparently
before Lent, people would give connoli with suggestive messages as gifts,
often as an indication of sexual and or romantic interest.

Speaker 2 (28:53):
Yeah. Yeah, So the carnival season leading up to Lent,
often known as marty Graus here in the US, was
like a really big deal in medieval Catholic cultures based
in and around what's now Italy. You can see our
kin Cake episode for a bit more on that, but basically,
Carnival is like a was and is like this celebratory,

(29:16):
kind of debaucherous season of plenty and of sloughing off
or even reversing social norms as a way of letting
loose and sort of getting it out of your system
before really buttoning down and being serious during Lent. And
as is exemplified by Cannoli, many carnival traditions do have

(29:38):
roots in like Saturnalia and these other pre Christian like
Greco Roman or otherwise pagan late winter festivals that focused
on feasting and drinking and sexuality and jokes. A different
legend says the Canoli got their name from this local

(29:58):
Sicilian term or like a tap or a faucet, and
this joke about how during Carnival, when everything is topsy turvy,
cream would flow from the taps instead of water or like.
Possibly this was a practical joke that someone actually implemented.
Read I've read different versions.

Speaker 1 (30:19):
Hard to say what they were getting up to.

Speaker 2 (30:22):
It is it is again they did not have Netflix.
They had to make their own fun.

Speaker 1 (30:26):
Indeed.

Speaker 2 (30:27):
Indeed, meanwhile, cacao and eventually like cocoa and chocolate as
we know them, entered the picture after the Spanish brought
coco beans over from the Americas around the fifteen hundreds,
which coincided with a period of Spanish rule in Sicily
from like the late fourteen hundreds through the late sixteen hundreds.

(30:47):
This time was also when Sicily really perfected its wheat farming,
and to this day some canolo specialists say that the
specific soft wheat grown there is part of what makes
Sicilian only so special.

Speaker 1 (31:03):
And then a wave of Sicilian immigrants to the US
in the eighteen eighties brought their love of cannoli with them.

Speaker 2 (31:12):
There was another wave following World War Two, and during
this kind of spread of time, the Sicilian mafia had
really rooted itself in Sicily and established offshoots in the US,
which I mention because.

Speaker 1 (31:28):
In the nineteen seventy two film The Godfather, there was
a line that went as follows, leave the gun, take
the Canoli.

Speaker 2 (31:39):
And this is just a super iconic line that kind
of sums up all the struggles of all the characters
between different kinds of family and in different kinds of
duty and and like self identification. It's a beautiful line.
There is also a nonfiction book about the making of

(31:59):
the film titled Leave the Gun, Take the Canoli that
just came out in twenty twenty one. Oh and sounds
really fascinating. Apparently the mafia was putting pressure on the
filmmakers because like there was stuff that they did not
like from the book that it's based on that they
wanted to change for the movie film. Anyway, I really

(32:21):
want to pick up this book now.

Speaker 1 (32:23):
That's fascinating, and I love that this is not the
first time we've talked about The Godfather.

Speaker 2 (32:28):
Oh certainly not. These and other films that are really
discussing the Sicilian mafia in America are you know, you know,
like a lot about crime and whatever, but also real
love stories about food. I've been threatening to do an
episode on Goodfellas for a long time, but you haven't

(32:48):
seen it. And it's very mean. The movie is really
mean to the audience, and I kind of don't want
to put you through that.

Speaker 1 (32:58):
I think if I'm prepared, I can. I can. I
like that sometimes too, I just need I mean, I'll yeah,
get a blanket. Okay, yeah, you know, I'll be Yeah,
I could do it. I want to do it.

Speaker 2 (33:10):
I love the movie. It's it's earnestly one of my
favorite films. But yeah, like every time I watch it,
I'm like, Oh, I forgot, I forgot how hard it goes?

Speaker 1 (33:22):
Wow. Mom loves that movie, and my mom is very sweet,
and so there's a part of me that wants to
watch it and just think.

Speaker 2 (33:28):
About, Oh, yeah, my.

Speaker 1 (33:31):
Mom, why she would love it? Just I think she
had a crush on Raliota. I don't think that's the
only reason. I really don't think that's the only reason.

Speaker 2 (33:41):
I hope not.

Speaker 1 (33:42):
But I feel like she mentioned it in passing once. Yeah,
and in my child brain I was like, Ah, that
must be why. But I'm sure she has plenty of others.

Speaker 2 (33:54):
I feel like we're gonna have discussions about this that
are going to harken back to our discussions about like
House of the Dragon.

Speaker 3 (34:00):
Oh no, oh no, all right, I will prepare, okay
at any rate, all right, Cannoli Connoli.

Speaker 1 (34:12):
So jumping ahead to the nineteen eighties, only two of
those sweet shops that I mentioned were operating in Sicily.
In twenty fourteen, the last of the nuns operating these
shops left, but cultural heritage expert Maria Oliver was determined
to preserve the recipes in history, going as far to

(34:33):
open a whole bakery in twenty seventeen.

Speaker 2 (34:37):
Yeah, she opened it like in the kitchen of one
of those convents in Palermo.

Speaker 1 (34:42):
Yes, and she's salvaged recipes including connoli and other quote
erotic things like the Chancellor's buttocks.

Speaker 2 (34:51):
Which is a baked good, yes.

Speaker 1 (34:56):
And something that resembles the breast of Saint Agatha. And
they're they were sort of globed cakes with a cherry
on top.

Speaker 2 (35:04):
Yeah. Yeah, we talked about Saint Agatha and these pastries
in our Marzapan episode. They're made with pistachio Marzapan like blanketing,
a mound of sweetened ricatta and sponge cake or pastry
crust or chocolate shaped like this perfectly round breast, complete
with a little candied cherry nipple. Yeah. The story of

(35:24):
Saint Agatha says it around two fifty CE, this Sicilian
girl kept her Christian faith and rejected the advances of
this Roman ruler. And she was then arrested and had
her breast stamputated, and she died. So there's a local
festival in her name every February, and we make pastries
based on her breasts. I think that there are other

(35:45):
breast shaped traditional pastries.

Speaker 1 (35:48):
Though, what a sentence.

Speaker 2 (35:54):
We truly never know where the reading is going to
take you. Nope, I want to say for the record,
I did not know that there was going to be
so much discussion of anatomical pastry when I suggested this topic.

Speaker 1 (36:13):
Yes, in the initial suggestion suggestion, Lauren was like, well,
it turns out a bit more escape than I thought.

Speaker 2 (36:24):
Let's do it too, But here we are. Okay. This
brings us to twenty fourteen and canolo in space.

Speaker 1 (36:37):
Okay.

Speaker 2 (36:38):
So a team of amateur scientists in Sicily in twenty
fourteen got this idea to send a clay model of
a canolo up to the outer reaches of Earth's atmosphere
on a weather balloon, basically just like it's a fun
thing to do, like just to see if they could,
if they could, you know, if they had the computer

(36:58):
know how and the the technical know how to pull
this together, and you know, to celebrate Sicilian culture. They
they included a camera in the rig that was pointed
at the canolo in the foreground, and so they got
some just lovely images of like the curvature of the
Earth with the canolo right there. They recovered the rig
relatively near their launch site after it fell back to Earth.

(37:23):
Quote after battling a herd of sheep that was barring
their way, as is reported by the Times of Sicily.

Speaker 1 (37:34):
I like that they had to battle I herd of sheep.

Speaker 2 (37:39):
I'm not positive how much of a battle it was, but.

Speaker 1 (37:43):
Should go down and should be sung in songs for
the ages.

Speaker 2 (37:47):
Oh yes, oh yes. One last thing. There was a
collectible five euro coin that was released in twenty twenty
one celebrating Sicily, and it has images of Marsala wine, lemons,
and two connoli, among some other stuff that isn't food.

Speaker 1 (38:08):
No, yeah, that sounds nice. Yeah, Well, this has been
a lovely one. I hope it was a lovely birthday topic.

Speaker 2 (38:18):
Yes, oh yeah, very full of cravings. I need to
get some canoli in my life soon. But that's okay,
that's great.

Speaker 1 (38:29):
Great problem to have, And we would love to hear
from listeners about this opinions. Have you been to the festivals?
Have you made them before?

Speaker 2 (38:39):
Oh?

Speaker 1 (38:39):
Yeah, yes, But I think that's what we have to
say about conoli for now. It is.

Speaker 2 (38:45):
We do already have some listener mill for you, though,
and we are going to get into that as soon
as we get back from one more quick break for
a word from our sponsors, and we're back.

Speaker 1 (39:02):
Thank you, sponsor, Yes, thank you, and we're back with snow.
I can't believe we got to talk about space in
the Canoley episode. I love it. Every time we can
talk about space pretty good.

Speaker 2 (39:24):
I'm not gonna say I shoehorn it in there, but
it's just it just it's just what comes up in
my searches.

Speaker 1 (39:29):
Okay, that that makes sense, That makes sense. I love it.
Sheldon wrote about ramps up here in Quebec. They've been
popular for a long time. Listening to your show brought
back memories of my mother who passed away thirty five
years ago. Before that, she would come up from New

(39:49):
York to visit me in the spring and we would
always go across the river to buy word market in
Ottawa to get some. She used to love them and
said that there was nothing like that back in the city.
I wish she would still be around to carefully pick
some hatch growing in my yard up here. We call
them all divois in French garlic of the woods, and

(40:12):
English they call them wild leaks, and that name led
to an interesting marketing campaign to prevent people from harvesting
them in nearby Gatineau Park. It seems that they were
getting more and more popular and the population in the
park was rapidly declining as people would harvest them for
personal and commercial use. In the mid nineties, there was
a campaign to protect them. All over the park were

(40:34):
signs saying, don't take a leak in gat No Park.
That's pretty good. I appreciate that.

Speaker 2 (40:43):
That's great, that's beautiful.

Speaker 1 (40:48):
I feel so many of those campaigns and like national
forests or things like that, do rely on a solid pun.

Speaker 2 (40:59):
Yeah oh yeahs. As social media has has taught me recently,
like if you I mean like I want to I
want to learn more about nature to begin with. But
if you put like weird, silly puns or jokes in
with it, then I am I am absolutely there.

Speaker 1 (41:20):
Yeah oh yeah, oh yes. Also I'm very jealous that
you can yeah, row ramps in your your yard.

Speaker 2 (41:30):
That's wonderful, it is. I'm jealous, but in the happy way,
happy for you. Yes, yes, yes, oh goodness.

Speaker 1 (41:40):
Uh.

Speaker 2 (41:40):
Trevor wrote May the Fourth be with You. Let me
start by saying, this is not about a popcorn bucket,
but a memory that episode sparked. You were discussing Star
Wars and the various containers it spawned and their dubious usefulness.
It hit me. I have an R two D two
that lives with my Star Wars memories, never to be
used as intended. It was a Christmas gift from the family.

(42:03):
I unwrapped at Christmas Day, played with it for a
bit while the family tried to convince me to put
it in the kitchen. I quickly decided if used, I'd
never get it clean or stacked properly, so I carefully
repackaged it and it lives with the beloved Star Wars
toys of my youth. In addition, to savor. I listened
to Ridiculous History. They're speculating recording a themed D and

(42:23):
D session. Y'all should be part of that. And uh so, okay.
The R two D two in question is an R
two D two stack of measuring cups like you kind
of you kind of pull R two apart, and and
there's within the circular body of R two there are

(42:45):
a number of measuring.

Speaker 1 (42:47):
Cups, nine measuring units, which is great because it's so impractical,
which is what we talked about.

Speaker 2 (42:57):
In that highly highly impractical. There's so many nooks and
crannies in it, it would be very difficult to clean.

Speaker 1 (43:05):
It would just be like not convenient at all. If
you're like I needed a half a cup, let me.

Speaker 2 (43:12):
Let me assemble disassemble R two.

Speaker 1 (43:17):
Yeah, but you gotta love it. Nonetheless, I've been telling
people about that popcorn bucket episode, and Lauren, I may
or may not have procured a dune two popcorn what dude?
As amazing as I had.

Speaker 2 (43:35):
Heard, what's the what's the texture?

Speaker 1 (43:39):
Like it's it's as you imagine, I will say, I haven't.
I tried to reach in and like act as if
I was pulling popcorn out you know.

Speaker 2 (43:50):
Yeah, I was.

Speaker 1 (43:52):
Like, okay, I can I couldn't get a big fistful,
but but I didn't have I didn't act we have
the popcorn, so I need to do a different test. Okay, yeah,
to ascertain, but I'll send you a picture. It's yep. Yeah,
there's a reason.

Speaker 2 (44:11):
Yep.

Speaker 1 (44:12):
People were talking about it and writing about it, and
I was bidding for it.

Speaker 2 (44:19):
Wow. Oh oh, you like put.

Speaker 1 (44:21):
An effort, put in effort, put in effort.

Speaker 2 (44:24):
Well, thank thank you, thank you for doing that for course,
for the good of all of us.

Speaker 1 (44:30):
Yeah, I do want the R two D two popcorn bucket. Yeah,
I don't know how much that would run me though, Yeah.

Speaker 2 (44:39):
Well.

Speaker 1 (44:41):
I'll look into it.

Speaker 2 (44:42):
It's an eBay for a different.

Speaker 1 (44:43):
Day, Yes, eBay for a different day. But yeah, we
love talking about.

Speaker 2 (44:49):
D and D so you know, oh yeah, here we are.

Speaker 1 (44:53):
You could reach out to us.

Speaker 2 (44:54):
Yeah, yeah, all yeah we can. We can go bug
bet and all about that absolutely.

Speaker 3 (45:02):
Well.

Speaker 1 (45:03):
In the meantime, thank you so much to both of
these listeners for writing in. If you would like to
write to us, you can Our email is Hello at
savorpod dot com.

Speaker 2 (45:11):
We are also on social media. You can find us
on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at saver pod and we
do hope to hear from you. Savor is production of iHeartRadio.
For more podcasts from my Heart Radio, you can visit
the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to
your favorite shows. Thanks as always to our superproducers Dylan
Fagan and Andrew Howard. Thanks to you for listening, and
we hope that lots more good things are coming your

(45:33):
way

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Anney Reese

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Lauren Vogelbaum

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