Have Your Cake and Eat it Too
Zeppole

A cream filled Italian pastry

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This scrumptious Italian pastry is only available a couple of weeks a year!

  • Mar 18, 2010
Rating:
+5
March 19th is St. Joseph's DaySt. Joseph is the "adoptive" father of Jesus and the husband of the Virgin Mary.  He is the Patron Saint of carpenters, house buyers and sellers, fathers, confectioners, wheelwrights, working people and numerous countries and cities including Austria, Canada and  Mexico as well as the cities of Sicily, Turin and Florence in Italy.  History tells us that the Italian people began celebrating St. Joseph's Day when the city of Sicily was struck with a severe drought and famine during the Middle AgesSicilians prayed to their patron saint Joseph to intercede.  When the rains finally came and the crops came back to life the people of Italy were extremely grateful that their prayers had finally been answered.  Ever since that time Italian people have celebrated the feast of St. Joseph.

In Italian neighborhoods and enclaves all across America St. Joseph's Day has become synonymous with a lucious Italian pastry called zeppole.  Around here most bakeries only make zeppole for 2 or 3 weeks a year to coincide with the celebration of St. Joseph's Day.  They are a real treat!   So just what is a zeppole?  Anecdotes and articles describe these pastries as anything from fried dough to cream puffs.  Here in Rhode Island the general consensus seems to be that zeppole are baked rings of pâte à choux—the same dough used to make éclairs—filled with custard-like pastry cream flavored with rum or vanilla. These pastries are typically garnished with powdered sugar and a maraschino cherry.  Magnifico!   Depending on the bakery zeppole may either be fried or baked.  Some bakeries make both.  Personally, I much prefer the baked variety.  Making zeppole is a very labor intensive operation so many bakeries have to bring in extra help just to keep up with the demand.  Here in Rhode Island we have a large Italian population so many bakeries sell zeppole just as fast as they can make them!  

So if you live anywhere near an Italian neighborhood or bakery I urge you to give zeppole a try if you see them.  You will not be disappointed!   Or if you are so inclined you can try making some at home. There are lots of tempting zeppole recipes available online.  Whether you pick some up at a neighborhood bakery or make them yourself you will discover that zeppole are a taste sensation.  Very highly recommended!
This scrumptious Italian pastry is only available a couple of weeks a year! This scrumptious Italian pastry is only available a couple of weeks a year! This scrumptious Italian pastry is only available a couple of weeks a year! This scrumptious Italian pastry is only available a couple of weeks a year!

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March 21, 2010
These look mega delicious, Paul.  Like fancier cream puffs!  I'll have to hunt these down in the Italian neighborhood of San Francisco.  Thanks for sharing! :)
 
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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Wiki

A zeppola (plural zeppole, in southern dialects zeppoli) or St. Joseph's Day cake, also called sfinge and in Rome Bignè di S. Giuseppe is a pastry typical of Roman, Neapolitan and generally peninsular Italian cuisine and are also served in Sicily and on the island of Malta.

Commonly light, deep-fried dough balls about 2 inches (5.1 cm) in diameter, these doughnuts or fritters are usually topped with powdered sugar and may be filled with custard, jelly, cannoli-style pastry cream or a butter-and-honey mixture. Their consistency ranges from light and puffy, to bread or pasta-like.

Zeppoli are traditionally consumed on La Festa di San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph's Day), (March 19). In Rome, Naples and Sicily, these little pastries are sold on many streets and are sometimes gifts on this day. In parts of Calabria, the anchovy or a sultana variety are consumed on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

 
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