Welcome back to our food column, Hot Links, where VICE employee Dan Meyer explores the neglected culinary stars of YouTube. Each week, Dan presents a selection of videos highlighting specific food themes, from amateur cooking to local restaurant commercials, elderly drinking buddies, kitchen disasters, to the infinite supply of odd YouTube wonders in the food category. We encourage you to fall into this culinary video k-hole, and include your own comments and contributions below.
Sometimes, when one is willing to fall deep into a serious YouTube-hole, it is best to pick a word that is bouncing around in your head and run with it. Cannoli is the Italian confection that we all know a love, a sweetened ricotta filling that's placed inside of a crispy, deep-fried shell. But beyond the regular saccharine-coated baking videos on this topic, there is an unending bounty of entertaining cannoli videos that push far beyond the basic notion of the sweet recipe. After taking a look at these videos, you will never be able to look at a cannoli the same way. You're welcome.
Is Cannoli Cream the Stuff of Goddesses?
Don Imus, Howard Stern, and Rush Limbaugh are all combined into one YouTube personality here. Stu, our host, is a man who looks like Larry Flynt shortly before he was shot and paralyzed. It is clear that Stu is a man who is grappling with some rage in his basement, because he is screaming as loudly as he can at the camera. When he is not visiting national feminist conventions, Stu can be found at restaurants consuming seafood risotto, or "riz-ott-o." He believes that, when done correctly, seafood "riz-ott-o" is like—well just skip to the 0:33 mark of the video and see for yourself. He "banged" and "backed out" two meals in one night, because he likes to multi-task, even when it comes to dinner. He ordered five cannolis, which caused a bit of a stir with his wife, who thought that he was possibly cheating on her with a man. But after eating two of the cannolis, Stu was convinced that, "if God is a woman, she came inside of my mouth."
Filling Cannoli Shells
This is an extremely sunny woman from California who is filling cannolis for the first time. She also decided that she will instruct the viewer(s) on how to make them. She thinks that the filling—which is always made with ricotta cheese, confectioners sugar, and sometimes marscapone cheese—is like marzipan. To be clear, it is not, whatsoever. "Squeeze it down into the tip," is a spooky moment, but I'm mostly excited about how excited she is to be sharing her new skill with her mysterious audience. The whispering that takes place at the very end of the video makes me feel both perverted and hungry at the same time.
The perfect cannoli is a cold filling of sweetened ricotta cheese in a fresh, crispy shell. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I decided to look for someone who was having a great "first cannoli experience." After deliberating for a long time about the right one to include, I chose this one that is as short and sweet as a cannoli itself. She speaks intimately to her viewers, and feels that the crust is more delicious than the filling. Her final review is concise, when she explains that, "They're kinda good, they're kinda cheesy, but I don't know if that's normal."
Owner of Oley's Pepperoni Cannoli Explains Restaurant Name
What I've learned about the Eastern side of Milwaukee—a place I have never been before— is that there are old people who have to hustle all sorts of jobs, which includes sticking entire pepperoni links inside of cannoli shells in the hope that college drunks will buy them on their way out of nearby bars, where they are trying to take home some sort of available bed partner for the evening. Who knew that this simple act of financial need could inspire restaurant names?
Pizza Box Magic Trick by Mike Sexton Magic, "The Great Cannoli"
I often wonder what would happen if David Blaine or Criss Angel fell off the magic scene altogether. Would they attempt to rise again on casting calls, or settle for local opportunities? This man calls himself the "Great Cannoli," but I get the impression that he lost his confidence at some point on the circuit. That could be—in part—because of these children, who are too old enough to realize that his magic tricks and equipment (a wooden pizza box, in this instance) can only truly surprise a one-year-old audience, but I'll give him credit for trying. It's loud as hell due to the age of the kids, so turn the volume down for this one.
Uh Oh Cannoli-Oh
The audio sounds like it has been snipped from an adult film, but it's only eight seconds long, which makes the viewer feel confused as to what is really going on here, or understand the purpose for uploading it to YouTube altogether. My best conjecture is that the video creator wanted the universe to understand what you shouldn't do when you make your shells too thick, which all of us can apply to many scenarios in life's unpredictable journey. It also feels as if the viewer is flipping through TV channels to only catch a snippet of a segment, but in reality, this is all there is to it. I recommend that you watch this at least five times in succession.