ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MARCH 19, 2012
Are you wearing your red today? I am!
It’s March 19 and that means it’s one of my most favorite dessert holidays ever!
Happy St. Joseph’s Day to you!!
I’d personally skip right over St. Patrick’s Day and go right to St. Joseph’s Day because if it’s St. Joseph’s Day then it means……zeppole!!!
You might ask: What on earth is a zeppole??
My answer is: It’s the most wonderful cream filled, fried dough dessert in the world; kind of a cross between a donut and a cream puff I guess, although from what I understand, they have changed in nature over the years. However, the way you see them here is the way I’ve always known them to be and the way that I love, love, love them.
More than a decade ago, when we were first married, we lived in another state for a few years. That first year we were there, St. Joseph’s Day rolled around. We went out that day, searching for a zeppole, and had the hardest time finding them. When we did, they weren’t even all that great. I was so disappointed. We’d only been there three months and I already knew we were going to have to come back. There was no way I was going to live in a place where there weren’t any good zeppole to be had.
Near us you can get a zeppole almost any time of the year, but we never, ever do, except on St. Joseph’s Day. It just wouldn’t be the same. It probably wouldn’t even TASTE the same!
I’m sure it’s no coincidence either, that my daughter Alex was due to be born on St. Joseph’s Day. She wasn’t, but still, there’s something significant in that, I just know it.
Being in city where there are just zillions of Italians, it means that there are also zillions of fantastic Italian bakeries in the area, so you can take your pick as to where you want to get your zeppole from. Everyone seems to have their favorite spot where they go each year.
To me it’s a really big deal to go and get them. I go to the same bakery where my family has gone forever and ever to get them. The first time I took my children there with me, I almost cried, I was so overwhelmed with the emotion I felt. I remember waiting with them in a line that stretched from the bakery counter to the door. I remember lifting them up so they could see into the back where the zeppole were being made; it looked like what I’d imagine Italy itself to look like. I remember pointing to the shelves that held trays upon trays upon trays of zeppole, all lined up in rows. It’s even magical to me how they put them into the white bakery box and tie it with string. There’s nothing like it. The zeppole taste wonderful, but the tradition and memories that go with it are such a big part of the day for me as well.
And so, today I will again have my zeppole. My family doesn’t love them as much as I do, and I have to say, I’m glad. It means all the more for me.
I hope you’re able to get a zeppole today too! If not, I’ll be thinking of you all as I indulge.
Happy St. Joseph’s Day!