Dedicated cannoli fans carry on sweet South Philly tradition

Tim Jimenez
December 24, 2018 - 8:41 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A little bit of rain didn’t stop many from continuing a sweet tradition in South Philadelphia: waiting in line for cannolis for Christmas.

When the doors opened at Termini Brothers on South 8th Street at 6 a.m., Vince Termini Sr., the second-generation owner, greeted the dozens of people who waited outside of the bakery for hours. 

“You know what I like to see? The generations come in. I see the fathers, the parents, and then I see the children and the grandchildren and the great grandchildren,” Termini said. 

And most were here for one thing: cannolis — a whole lot of them.

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"I get 60 or 70 of them a year," explained Joe from Northeast Philadelphia, who was first in line. "I get cannolis for the family, my neighbors — the girl that cuts my hair, I get cannolis for her. It’s like a thank-you to everybody."

"I’ve been doing this for 25 to 30 years. Started with myself and my father-in-law," said Pat from Blue Bell. "We do the feast of the seven fishes, and we would get all of the cannolis and cream puffs and he would pick out a couple special things to bring back.”

What makes the cannolis so special?

"It was my father’s recipe that he took over from Sicily," Termini said. "And we still follow the same recipe, and we never diverted. Even though maybe some products go up in price, we still use the same product," Termini said. 

People came from near and far — really far.

"My cousin brought me here years ago when I came to visit," said Phillip Cacciola from Australia. "And every time I visit around Christmastime every couple of years, I do the tradition with him. He’s been doing this since he was a kid."

And he gets to take a taste home.

"I’ve actually gotten to talk to Vince, and he gives me a little package to take with me on the plane. So, it’s awesome."