Nov 5, 2007

Back from Milan, and why haven't I been to Sicily yet?!

Most bank holidays in France are synonymous with 4 day long weekends- and we just had one of them last week. And so what better to do then hop off to Italy for a short trip? (which is exactly what I did). Destination Milan this time (although I have been there before, but I went in August when the city was dead and only 30% of the shops were open). A much more vivid, dynamic and interesting Milan. A Milan I actually wouldn't mind living in!

Fortunately, the weather was fantastic- considering it was November and I was expecting some chilly winds, but that was not the case. Instead, there was plenty of sunshine, soft breezes, and gorgeous autumn colours on Milan's classy grey backdrop.

I have always loved Italy, for as long as I can remember. Actually, to be more precise, my love affair with Italy started in '94 whilst watching the world cup final (it was Italy-Brasil). Why exactly at that moment, I will not tell because the story is a bit embarassing to share. Well, let's just say it had something to do with an 11 year old girl falling "in love" with one of the Italian football players...which led her (me) to think that if Italian men were that gorgeous, then Italy must have plenty of other gorgeous secrets...that I wanted to discover- and still do- until today.

I started self-teaching myself Italian, and two years ago started taking proper Italian lessons (was about time!). I try to visit Italy whenever I can- have been to Milan, Rome, Napoli and Venice so far, but my ultimate dream is to head way down south to Sicily. The reason is simple: gelati and cannoli .The two things I look most forward to each time I am in Italy. Cannoli in particular.

There is something extraordinary about cannoli, I could literally live off it, have it for breakfast, lunch, tea time and dinner! It's simple, yet has such a unique and magical taste. There is something "friendly" about them- maybe the generous ricotta based stuffing? Maybe it shares many ingredients that are used in Middle Eastern sweets (I have Middle Eastern origins) and therefore creates an unconscious sense of tastebud-familiarity? It ranks in my top 10 preferred sweets list, and placed ahead of macarons because it isn't as "arrogant" as a macaron. And that is probably what I really love about cannoli- is that they are down-to-earth. I know cannoli are not human beings, but they do have that humane, modest, generous, down-to-earth quality.

So who really cares about the shopping in Milan, when the city has cannoli every 500 meters?

When I returned to Paris, with my heart still in Italy, I told myself that it is about time I actually try making cannoli myself! All I need now is to find those cannoli tubes... So hopefully, soon I will be posting pictures and words about my first home-made cannoli!


Kate / Kajal said...

ok now i have to visit Italy ... ! ur pictures are beautiful and u have just given me a stronger reason to go there. The cannoli looks to die for ...ah sinful as i hell i'm sure but worth it.Tell me how to make it once u 've figured it out.I'd like to sin a little too :)

Anonymous said...

its plinio (fuzzzycatt) from flickr. i am really glad to hear that you are going to be doing a blog about food.

i've been dying to do one myself.

well. i look forward to reading your blog.

Marianna said...

Kate- I actually made cannoli this weekend, but as it was my first time, I didnt take any waiting to make some perfect cannoli!!!

Plinio- thanks, I hope I keep it well maintained though!!

Kate / Kajal said...

Mariannah i saw these on tele yesterday.Rocco of Dolche Vita was in Sicily and there they had the exact same ones and showed how to make it.They were filled with ricotta though. Lets see i might give them a try as well.