I’ve decided to take a break from recipes this week in order to talk about an upcoming feast in Italy and its traditional treats. San Giuseppe – or St. Joseph’s day – is next Saturday, March 19th. In Italy it is also Father’s Day.
There are many wonderful traditions associated with this feast. In keeping with my love of culinary traditions, I would love to talk a little about zeppole. I know what you’re thinking, zeppole, those little fried balls covered in sugar that are sold at every Italian feast here in the States. But those are not zeppole in the traditional sense.
Zeppole are round, hollowed out, donut-esque, deep-fried pastries that are filled with cream and topped with amarene (sour cherries) and usually powdered sugar. They are the traditional pastries of the feast of San Giuseppe. They are originally from Southern Italy and can vary by type of filling or coating, depending on what region you’re from.
On the day of the feast, zeppole are presented as gifts either by people called Giuseppe or to those with that name. I know a lot about them, having grown up with a father named Giuseppe. I can personally attest to how amazingly delicious they are.
If you are able to get your hands on some next Saturday, at your local Italian pastry shop, I strongly recommend it. Or remember, you can always plan a trip to Italy so you can taste them right at the source. Either way, enjoy!