Buona Festa di San Giuseppe! Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

19 Mar

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.

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!

And a very Happy Father’s Day to our Italian friends.


6 Responses to “Buona Festa di San Giuseppe! Happy St. Joseph’s Day!”

  1. Jean March 19, 2017 at 12:57 PM #

    That looks so good! I have to find an Italian bakery near me – or else move near one – lol.
    Having lived in Ireland, the St Patrick’s Day holiday was created by Americans. When I lived there they didn’t even have a parade. Green beer, corned beef and cabbage – all American. Except the Guinness draft there is unbelievable and impossible to recreate here.
    I have a feeling the best Italian holidays are celebrated in Chicago!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Royce Larsen March 19, 2017 at 11:58 PM #

    You have inspired me to search the entire city of

    Casper Wyoming for my first zeppole.

    If successful you will know,

    if not will wait until another visit

    to Chicago and the Ferrara Bakery

    Thanks for the inspiration

    Happy Father’s Day to Len


    Liked by 1 person

  3. noshamedad March 18, 2019 at 6:51 AM #

    Thank you for such a nice article about this tradition. I grew up in Addison and was raised on zeppole!


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