Food Tales

We'll Take the Cannoli

by Stephanie March

Perfectly crafted Sicilian cannoli. Photo by Jeralyn Gerba.

Fathom contributing editor Stephanie March has been everywhere on earth, but this sunset in Sicily sounds like her best travel day ever. Ever.

ERICE, Sicily – The single best cannoli I've ever had was in Erice, a small hilltop town in Sicily. I'm not a dessert person, and this is a tough call for me, but the memory of that cannoli will forever activate my salivary glands. Something about a group of Campari-soaked thirtysomethings piling into a sun-blasted funicular during an August sunset makes my belly smile.

Five couples rented a house outside Marsala. We arrived without any luggage (lost in the bowels of Alitalia for three days) and skinny-dipped and drank our way through a sun-drenched, Sicilian dreamscape for nearly 48 hours. (Literally: a case of wine and four pasta courses.)

Our first big outing was to Erice after two in our party improbably retrieved the luggage for 10 people from the Palermo airport. (Clean underpants! Toothpaste!) After nearly two days of being housebound and clothed in only rewashed underwear and beach towels, we decided to celebrate by fleeing the compound.

Fresh and happy, we wandered that charming town, roving and hungry. After knocking around chapels and sneaking the obligatory pic of an older gent in suspenders with his newspapers, we found ourselves cramming our faces full of cannoli and quaffing negronis at a café in the town square. We marveled at the total animal freedom of being beautiful and free in a faraway land.

After that trip, some of us got pregnant, some of us divorced, some of us drifted away, and some of us stagnated. Doesn’t matter. On that one August night, we stuffed our faces with cannoli and laughed and drank and understood that at no other time would the light be so golden, the evening so balmy, and us so beautiful.


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