Zeppole (also called zeppola for singular use) is a conventional fritter like one for a donut that you twist into a coil and finish with fluffiness rather than stuffing it. It’s puffy and squished, like a woven churro, with fried choux pastry holding your preference of toppings like those old fashioned honey and butter, chocolate chips and ricotta, jam, zabaglione, cream – anything you want.
The Feast of Saint Joseph that occurs on March 19, marks the best time for zeppole. In this article we’ll discover more about its history and origins.
The American-style ring doughnuts coated in sugar, can be found all over Italy too. They’re also called ciambelle.
However, these may not be accurate to the area. While zeppole can be found almost anywhere in modern-day Italy, their true origins lie a little to the south of Rome, where people call them Bigne di San Giuseppe. Their original locations can also be traced back to southern Lazio where people refer to them as sfinge and also especially in the port city of Salerno.
Because of their delectability, flavor and the growing number of Italian immigrants in major global countries, you can discover them under various names all over the world. In the Greek peninsula of Istria, people call it blenzi; while in the island country of Malta, they are flavourful and filled with anchovies. A lot of Italian-Americans also refer to them as crispelli.
History of Zeppole
It is almost certain that the zeppola of St. Joseph first appeared on record in the legendary essay “The kitchen Teorico Pratica” written by Neapolitan gastronomist Ippolito Cavalcanti, who published in 1837.
All other stories about its roots, on the other hand, are all a bit speculative and dissimilar from one another, not just in terms of content but also with the locations they entail.
Origins Linked to Religion
Upon escaping to Egypt with Mary and Jesus Christ, Saint Joseph found himself in a foreign place trying to sell pancakes to provide for the family’s survival. From then on, the tradition of equating these sweets as a classic metaphor of Father’s Day, in remembrance of Saint Joseph.
Some other rendition indicates that Saint Joseph is the patron saint of wood workers and artisans, for whom the “Carpenter’s feast” was once revered on this occasion, with extensive sales of wooden artifacts of any sort and shape.
Mothers and fathers used to give one such artefacts and toys to their children, but after St. Joseph’s Day was combined with Father’s Day in the year 1968, the roles had been reversed.
Origins linked to ancient Rome
To understand this reference, we need to go back to the year 500 BC.
In ancient Rome, March 17 used to be a very important occasion: there was the Liberalia celebrations, with parties honouring Silenus and Bacchus, the gods of wheat and wine. It was a day dedicated to hot lard-fried wheat fritters and wine.
Because St. Joseph’s Day later occurred just two days after that Roman event, “successors” of those traditions made pancakes a symbol of the holiday. Most likely, it is plainly a recipe that has changed over centuries to take form of what we know about it today.
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