We haven’t exactly been shy when it comes to proclaiming our love forMontreal’s La Cornetteria, and news like this is one of the reasons why: the little Italy bakery will be offering Zeppole di San Giuseppe (aka St. Joseph’s Day Cream Puffs) until March 31st.
For the uninitiated, zeppole (also known as Bignè di S. Giuseppe in Rome), are light, deep-fried balls of dough filled with ricotta, custard, jelly, pastry cream and a host of other incredible things. Usually, they are reserved for March 19th, St-Joe’s day.
As the story goes, St-Joseph saved Sicily from a severe drought during the Middle Ages. When it finally rained, Sicilians celebrated in the only way they knew how: by eating like goddamn gluttons. Thus began the tradition of celebrating St-Joseph’s day with food. Zeppole came into the fray a bit later, when 19th century neapolitan baker Pasquale Pintauro started selling them on the streets on St-Joe’s — a custom that soon took off in Rome, Sicily and Malta. The rest is history (Grande Pasquale!).
Unfortunately, this association with San Guiseppe is so strong, that zeppole are usually only available on or around that day. Thankfully, La Cornetteria’s “Zeppole Season” bucks that trend, offering a full month of good times.
La Cornetteria’s zeppole, by the way, are filled with cannoli-style ricotta, lemon-vanilla custard, hazelnut or pistachio cream. Personally, I like the ricotta cream the best. Many old-schoolers hold Alati as the zeppole king of the city, but that’s more by default than anything else. I actually think that La Cornetteria’s are tastier, fluffier and lighter.
Get some while you can. They’re worth it.
La Cornetteria‘s zeppole are priced at $2.50 each or $24.00 by the dozen.