Today, Italian-Americans are partaking in a celebratory feast of St. Joseph. This weekend, elaborate, food-filled St. Joseph’s day tables went up all over Chicagoland (and Italian communities scattered around the world), and people are partaking in special holiday treats like zeppole, pasta di San Giuseppe and pasta con sarde. Some of Chicago’s more traditional Italian bakeries, like Alegretti’s in Norridge, turn out special treats for the influx of visitors on this holiday. Eater Chicago even has a map of 10 bakeries where you can get your St. Joseph’s Day treats (a handy list for any baked good need, really).
Tag Archives: St. Joseph’s Day
We have previously written about partaking in Sweet Zeppole for St. Joseph’s Day – one of our favorite holiday treat traditions. However, we were never even aware there was a savory variety of Zeppole. However, it seems that in the region of Calabria, savory Zeppole are a preferred option. Zeppole are basically fried dough fritters, so it make sense they could toe the sweet/savory line. Savory Zeppole can be made with anchovies or served plain. It seems like they would would probably go perfectly with another popular St. Joseph’s Day dish: Pasta con Sarde (with sardines).
March 19th is St. Joseph’s Day, a holiday celebrated in Southern Italy, or in communities of southern Italian Immigrants. Naturally, having the proper food is a huge part of St. Joseph’s Day, with many churches even constructing elaborate St. Joseph’s Day altars full of food. We’ve written previously on the most famous St. Joseph’s Day food – the fried sweet Zeppole – so this year we wanted to introduce another holiday dish – Pasta di San Guiseppe. There are many variations on the recipes – but at its core it is a dish of pasta and breadcrumbs. The pasta dishes made on this day are typically meatless to represent the famines experienced in Sicily. The breadcrumbs represent sawdust, which is symbolic of the profession of St. Joseph, carpentry. Another popular dish for St. Joseph’s Day is Pasta con Sarde (Pasta chi Sardi in Sicilian) – pasta with Sardines [another version here].
Zeppole by Caleb Lost
We here at ETW do a St. Joseph’s Day post every year, mainly as a reason to feature zeppole, a delicious custard-filled doughnut. Currently I (L) am in a location where the zeppole landscape is unknown to me, so I’ll be up bright an early to see if I can find any at the local bakeries. But in the meantime here’s a recipe from Giada.
Following my post on St. Paddy’s day eats, I have to mention St. Joseph’s Day, a holiday in Italy which is accompanied by a delicious treat called the Zeppole. A zeppole is a fried donut-like pastry that is filled with jam or cream and topped with powdered sugar. They are traditionally made especially for St. Joseph’s Day. About.com has a simple recipe, as well as an extensive history of the humble zeppole.
St. Joseph’s Day (March 19) is one of the biggest holidays in Sicily (and some other parts of Southern Italy). Joseph is the patron saint of Sicily since people say that in the middle ages peasants prayed to him and he ended a drought. Now, in remembrance of this feat, some Sicilians create altars full of food and plenty in honor of the day. Fava beans, the crop St. Joseph saved, are popular, as are citrus fruits, which happen to be prolific in Sicily. The tradition has spread to places with large Sicilian immigrant populations, especially New Orleans. There is a lot of interesting history of Louisiana altars (like the one at right) at the Houston Institute for Culture.
This year, I found a list of places with “St. Joseph Tables” in Chicagoland in the Sun Times. I imagine it would be a cool experience to go to one.