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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.