Calabrian Zeppole di San Giuseppe for Italian Father’s Day

Today is La Festa di San Giuseppe or St. Joseph’s Day. Here in my corner of Calabria, we celebrate with “i zippoli” or le zeppole, which are quite different from what some of you know as zeppole, but we’ll get back to that in a moment.

This is what ours look like:

That photo was taken on Christmas Eve in the United States after my mom and I whipped these up for the traditional family get-together at my dad’s house. Why zeppole on Christmas Eve, you ask?

Well because these little guys are *huge* family favorites — think legendary status — and I had a sinking feeling that no one on that side of the Atlantic had tasted their goodness since my grandmother passed away in 2001.

My intuition was right, and these were a big hit, gone rather quickly, and the source of many happy memories floating around my grandmother’s old house. Even the Russians in attendance had to ask how to make these babies.

Well, you don’t have to ask as I’ve already posted the recipe at Calabrian Zeppole.

You can read more about today’s holiday, what fava beans have to do with it, and the different types of zeppole throughout Italy at Fava Beans and Cream Puffs.

And if you want to know how to handle those favas and what to make with them, check out Calabrian Sausage and Fava Beans.

And hey, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, why not take some vacation days, compare flights, and hop a plane in time for some zeppole? I’ll save you some. Probably. Hurry!

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get snapping, literally, as I get my fava on.

Auguri to all the Giuseppes and Giuseppinas!

And buon weekend a tutti!

15 Beans of Wisdom to “Calabrian Zeppole di San Giuseppe for Italian Father’s Day”
  1. 03.19.2010

    I adored the zeppole with anchovies I had in Diamante when I was at the chili festival- her dough also had mashed potatoes in it.

    we are making our sweet fried rice frittelle- no giuseppe’s or dad’s- just a sweet hubby!!!

    Aw, how sweet indeed! Interesting that they put anchovies in all the way over on the Tyrrhenian Coast…I don’t think Catanzaro does, and that’s in between us. Go figure!

  2. 03.19.2010

    Auguri per la festa di San Giuseppe! I should call my dad today and give him the auguri. I zippoli look so good. I will have to try your recipe!

    Yes, auguri to the daddies!

    .-= Rosa´s last blog ..New Look, More Functionality & An Old Recipe For Tiramisu =-.

  3. Cathy

    Auguri Michelle. They look really really tasty. I’d love to try making them too.

    I hope you enjoy them Cathy!

    .-= Cathy´s last blog ..Birthday parties =-.

  4. 03.19.2010

    I initially thought these are just sweet, sugary puffs…I didn’t know it is served savoury also – with anchovies. Yum!

    The anchovies are, as far as I can tell, a really regional thing…guess someone had some extra fish laying around when these were frying! 😉

    .-= jen laceda´s last blog ..Tiramisù Rustico del Cioccolato =-.

  5. 03.19.2010

    Thank you for reminding me!
    Oh how we love zeppoli and this past Christmas we did not make them…how sad!
    My mothers mother also came from Calabria and every Christmas we could not go without.
    This year I did made her struffoli, delish!
    I think i will make a batch of zeppoli tonight!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Mmmm getting hungry all over again….

  6. 03.20.2010

    These look nice – self indulgent – maybe I will make these for a family get togethr on Sunday even though we don’t have any Italian blood in our family at all, as far as I know! So the cultures spread…..

    Enjoy Jenny!

    .-= Jenny Woolf´s last blog ..Lenny’s Alice in Wonderland Review; RTE and More and More Radio =-.

  7. Gil

    I bought enough of the filled ones Wednesday to last for a few days. That is, unless our kids visit!

    Sounds great to me, Gil!

  8. 03.20.2010

    Can’t eat anything good, Michelle. Quit posting them. I will email you when I am slim again.

    Bookmark, bookmark, bookmark! 😉

    .-= Judith in Umbria´s last blog ..A nameless low carb dish that resembles lasagne =-.

  9. 03.20.2010

    PS: I think these are a cousin to my cauliflower doughnuts from Puglia.


    .-= Judith in Umbria´s last blog ..A nameless low carb dish that resembles lasagne =-.

  10. Now I’m very hungry.

    Hahaha, sorry! 😉

    .-= nyc/caribbean ragazza´s last blog ..Open Baladin…the best burgers in Rome? =-.

  11. 03.23.2010

    yum! i loved those, sweet or savory 🙂

    Me too…I can’t pick one over the other 🙂 Great to “see” you Tracie!

    .-= tracie p´s last blog ..Newlywed Couple Thoroughly Enjoying Registry Gifts (Austin, TX) =-.

  12. Sandy

    This is exactly what our zeppole look like! Pure goodness!

    Mmmm mangia mangia!

  13. 03.19.2011

    they look great…always so tasty! love the look of the website! have a great weekend!

    Thanks Rosemary!

  14. 03.19.2011

    Happy St. Joseph’s Feast Day, Michelle! I wish I had some zeppoles ..I’ll have to try your recipe as it looks easier than my in-laws recipe. They put mashed potatoes and semolina flour in their dough prep ..and always added anchovies in the middle when frying them..never sugar.

    Yes, down into the province of Reggio they use potatoes…not here though 🙂

  15. 03.20.2011

    Thank you Michelle for taking the time to write and document this recipe that I remember so well from my childhood…every Christmas. The tradition disappeared as we got older and I have been trying to resurrect it the last few years…I made them this past Christmas eve and showed them off to my family through Skype…you have to love modern technology. My mom also makes “Scaldatelle” which like Zeppole are different depending on the region you are from. Any insight on “Scaldatelle”?? still fried, but no yeast, and drizzled with honey…kind of a pretzle formation. Love your blog!!!

    Hmmm I’m pretty sure we call them pignolata here; have you seen La Cucina di Calabria by Mary Amabile Palmer & Rosetta Costantino’s My Calabria? Lots of great Calabrian recipes, and helpful to reference both, actually, since as you know the recipes can vary from town to town. Mary’s is centered around Bova in RC and Rosetta’s around Tropea in VV.



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