Zeppole di San Giuseppe

So, today is the Feast of St. Joseph, the foster father of history's most famous non-traditional family. And while there's lots to celebrate liturgically (despite the fact that it's getting cut off early by the arrival of Palm Sunday), I come from Rhode Island, where, though not Italian myself, I've been immersed in all things Italian since I was little. And today one celebrates, even in the midst of the rigors of Lent, by eating zeppole, lovely, sometimes fried, sometimes baked, pastry with cream and cherries and whatever else seems to fit in them. I say sometimes, because there isn't much agreement as to exactly what zeppole are; Matt McKinney (no Italian, he) of the Providence Journal, wrote this article on zeppole a few years back, but also adds his story of encountering the lack of agreement on what, exactly, a zeppole is. I spent an hour today traipsing around the North End of Boston until I finally found some, at Modern Pastry. (Tourist tip: when visiting Boston, avoid the crowds at Mike's and hit either the Modern or the nearby Caffe Vittoria...) Tonight I get to expose a group of West Coast urban academics to the joy of fried pastry, thanks to the good graces of St. Joseph. Buona festa a tutti Italiani!

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