Today is the feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the family, and it is a feast day celebrated by Italians everywhere. It is also Father’s Day in Italy.
Most of the rest of this post comes from a previous one, but the thoughts and sentiments are the same.
Growing up in a neighborhood filled with many Irish and Italian families, I was always happy that the Italians also had their day in March to celebrate.
Of course, not quite as loud or rowdy as St. Patrick’s Day, we nonetheless celebrated the feast of St. Joseph with a food fest. And while the Irish had their green beer and accessories, the Italians, often sporting something red, had their zeppole, a cream filled fried pastry that originated in Napoli.
According to my fellow blogger, MariaGiovanna, (Sharing My Italy) the “Zeppole di SanGiuseppe” originated in Naples, Italy, “where the first recipe was put on paper, in 1837, by the famous Neapolitan gastronome Ippolito Cavalcanti, Duke of Buonvicino.”
Fortunately, you don’t have to be in Italy to enjoy a zeppole. In Chicago, they can be found in authentic Italian bakeries such as Ferrara Bakery on Taylor Street. Light, airy and filled with cream, it is fun to see the smiles they generate on those wiping the cream from their lips.
At this time of year, Ferrara’s and Italian bakeries everywhere are busy filling and selling hundreds of dozens of the cream filled gems.
So, to those looking to get beyond the grey days of winter, here’s an idea – participate in a St. Joseph’s Day custom by sharing some food with the needy and with some friends, and, of course, be sure to bring some zeppole!
And a very Happy Father’s Day to our Italian friends.