In Italy, March 19th is the Festa di San Giuseppe, or Feast of St Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and a ‘fatherly symbol of love, compassion, kindness, generosity and acceptance’. So today is also Festa del Papa, Italian Fathers’ Day. Many southern Italians are named in his honour.
In Naples, to celebrate the day, the cafes are absolutely crammed with trays full of thousands of Zeppole, a delicious fried or baked doughnut topped with sweet cream and garnished with an amarena cherry. They are a very southern Italian thing; Don Pasquale Pintauro, a pastry chef from Naples, created Zeppole di San Giuseppe from his road side bakery in 1840.
Over the last week, I’ve tried both fried and baked Zeppole and prefer the latter; they are lighter than their fried cousins yet still pack a sugary punch and go perfectly with a morning coffee. A great authentic recipe is here.