Wednesday, March 19, 2008


It is a tradition to indulge on this Sicilian pastry, known as Zeppole, on La Festa di San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph's Day). The zeppole di riso or zeppole di San Giuseppe is a typical Sicilian sweet for Father’s Day, made of rise and honey. You may notice that this recipe varies from region to region within Italy. Here, this crispy, honeyed crust, envelops a soft, sweet, warm, goodness.

The recipe may be the same in every pastry shop, but we are sure that the best Zeppole on the Eastern Sicilian Coast, (Maybe in the world!) are the ones made in the little town of Piedimonte
Etneo at Caffe' Cali'. The ones above were freshly made today for the Festa, by this pasty shop.
Sicilian Bakery

In Sicily, thanks are given to San Giuseppe for preventing a famine during the Middle Ages. According to legend, there was a severe drought at the time, and the people prayed for their patron saint to bring them rain. They promised that if he answered their prayers, they would prepare a large feast to honor him. The rain did come, and the people of Sicily prepared a large banquet for their patron saint. The fava bean was the crop, which saved the population from starvation, and is a traditional meal for the day.

rice gr. 150
Milk 1/2 l.
Beer yeast gr. 10
Three tbsp flour
grated orange peel of one orange
pinch of salt
tbsp of sugar
oil for frying
honey (miele di zagara is recommended, that is honey from the orange blossoms.)

Preparation: Cook the rice in the milk with a little salt. The rice will be cooked when it is creamy. Place the rice in a large bowl and leave to cool. Empty the yeast in a small amount of luke warm water and mix it into the rice. Next, add the flour, sugar, and leave it to rise for at least two hours... Bring a pan of oil to a boil. With the help of a spoon, form the paste into little rolls and set aside. Once the oil is boiling, drop the rice directly into the oil.
Once cooked, place the Zeppole in a large bowl, and cover with honey and orange peel.

Happy Italian Father's Day Daddy...

Piedimonte Etneo, Catania, Sicily, Small sicilian town near Mt. Etna, Piedimonte Etneo (Sicily, Italy). Cittá di Piedimonte Etneo. Last modified: 2004-12-22 by dov gutterman ... Piedimonte Etneo is in Catania province, Sicily. ...sicilian pastries, sicilian dolci,


Anonymous said...

Hallo dear Jill,
now that sounds really delicious, when will you edit your first sicilian cooking book in USA?
have a nice easter week all in your family,

ciao, abbracci da Irene

Jilli said...

Auguri to you as well, enjoy your time here with your family...

As for a cookbook, hmmm... :)

rowena said...

Next year, I hope to be able to be in Sicily for San Giuseppe, if not, then definitely for Easter.

Sicily is thee best.

I wish that I had known about your blog earlier! The fact that you chose to mention the legend made me smile. I read it too, but didn't think readers would have much interest to warrant writing it in the blog. So wrong. It certainly made me happy to see it on this fantastic post. Stop by sometime! Everything you COOK is just incredible!

Jilli said...

Thank you very much! And thank you for stopping by. I do enjoy your blog; it is saved as one of my favorites!!

Let me know when you make it down to Sicily...

Ann said...

Wow Zeppole looks o yummy and mighty tempting.. I did try making zeppole but it turned out to be sicilian sfinci :)