Buona Festa di San Giuseppe!

19 Mar

March 19 is the feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the family, and it is a feast day celebrated by Italians everywhere. 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.

Joseph the Carpenter, 1642, Louvre, by Georges de La Tour

Joseph the Carpenter, 1642, Louvre, by Georges de La Tour

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!



11 Responses to “Buona Festa di San Giuseppe!”

  1. Alessia D'Urso March 19, 2015 at 9:35 AM #

    I miss my hometown’s zeppole sooooo much 😦


    • blogginginitaly March 19, 2015 at 9:45 AM #

      I wonder what you might find in London??? Overnighted ones from your home town just wouldn’t be the same. Hard to replace that memory!


      • Alessia D'Urso March 19, 2015 at 11:49 AM #

        Haha, exactly! It would be easier to bake them at home… I just need to find some amarene then 🙂


  2. Florence C. Connelly March 19, 2015 at 11:08 AM #

    Yum !! those look delicious xoxo

    Florence C. Connelly faclarsen@aol.com


  3. Jean March 19, 2015 at 11:10 AM #

    This brings back when I was in Naples. I thought I had booked regular hotel rooms for the family. But the hotel generously gave us a high corner suite which had full length balcony windows overlooking the Castel dell’Ovo. We swam in their rooftop salt water pool and ate at the fishing village across the causeway where we had watched them harvest mussels earlier in the day. My children still talk about it.
    Ah Naples! Thanks for the memory Judy.


  4. Saana / Always Abroad March 20, 2015 at 12:56 AM #

    Ah, despite living in Naples part time, I have never actually tried these! Hopefully I’ll be around next year!


  5. loren5050 May 11, 2015 at 7:35 PM #

    How have I never had one of these?


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