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Most people know of Zeppole but if you ask different Italians you will get different answers on the shape, the consistency, filling or not filling, and everybody is an expert. Zeppole di San Giuseppe are Southern Italian pastries traditionally served for the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19.

They are deep-fried or baked round dough balls filled with pastry cream or sweetened ricotta, topped with powdered sugar. They are easy to make: you only need flour, sugar, eggs, butter and olive oil for the pastry; flour, eggs, sugar and milk for the traditional filling. But it’s easier to walk to your favorite bakery and pick some up.

The problem is: which type?

Ancient Romans were known to fry sweet dough in oil, with or without the hole in the middle or the filling. The ones we described are the Neapolitan Zeppole; in Sicilian cuisine, Zeppole look like little logs and are made with rice, flour and honey. In Calabrian cuisine, Zippuli also look like logs but are made with potatoes, eggs and (sometimes) anchovies. The zippula dough is prepared with fresh parsley and parmigiano, deep-fried in a skillet, and dipped in marinara sauce.




Author of second image: I, Calcagnile Floriano, Florixc, form Wikipedia