Where does cannelloni come from?

2 October 2018

Did you know that the city with the greatest number of pizzerias is Marseille? This surprising fact is just one example of how popular Italian cooking has become across the world, thanks to its tasty pasta dishes, delicious wines and multicoloured Mediterranean vegetables. Another Italian recipe that is now more popular outside Italy than in its country of origin is cannelloni, brought to Barcelona in the 19th century by a number of Italian chefs working in the kitchens of the city’s upper middle classes. The recipe soon spread like wildfire through all social classes and appeared in Catalan cookery books by the early 20th century.

Cannelloni is a typical dish in Catalonia—very popular on Boxing Day, 26 December, when families eat this dish to use up the Christmas Day leftovers—as well as throughout Spain and a number of countries in Latin America.

As is often the case with these fascinating recipes, alongside classic cannelloni with Béchamel sauce, different kinds of meat and some pâté to thicken, you can now find a panoply of modern versions in fancy restaurants and gastropubs. Béchamel sauce with a twist, cannelloni stuffed with deli delights and even pasta made out of courgette! Tasty 21st-century cannelloni has arrived with a bang and is here to stay!

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