This is one of the best weeks of the year for Rhode Islanders. With St. Patrick's Day on Friday and St. Joseph's Day on Sunday, it's the perfect time to celebrate our shared Irish and Italian heritage. The centerpiece of the holiday weekend is, of course, the food... Corned beef and cabbage for dinner with Zeppoles for dessert.
Rhode Island's many Italian bakeries are selling Zeppoles by the dozen these days. For the uninitiated, Zeppole is pronounced ZAY-po-la, unless you're from New York, where they are pronounced ZEPP-o-lee. The custard-filled pastry resembles a flattened cream puff and some bakeries make them in a variety flavors, substituting other fillings for the custard.
In my Greenville neighborhood, we have Pastryland Bakery, a terrific Italian bakery, dangerously close, and believe me, we take advantage of that. In Providence, our sponsor LaSalle Bakery is one of the best, and makes Zeppoles that are to die for. Check out their Instagram post below.
Providence Journal Food Editor Gail Ciampa is the expert on all things food-related in the Ocean State. In Wednesday's Food section, she has a nice list of top notch local Italian bakeries serving up the finest Zeppoles in the country.
A fun fact that Gail reveals: Legend has it that the Zeppole's connection to St. Joseph's Day is partially due to the pastry's resemblance to St. Joseph's hammer. (As you know, Joseph, the adopted father of Jesus, was a carpenter.) Check out Gail's article:
photo: Getty Images Source: The Providence Journal