Happy Saint Joseph's Day!

Last Update: Mar 19, 2023

blog cover image

Hi, WA Friends!

Did you know that today is Saint Joseph's Day? If you're Italian, Italian American, or have any Italian friends, you're probably well aware of the holiday!

It comes two days after Saint Patrick's day, so it's sort of the "eating pig-out, part-2!"

What is Saint Joseph's Day?

I won't bore you with the entire chatGPT dump of its historical value, so here it is, short and sweet.

It's a Christian holiday that's celebrated every March 19 to honor Saint Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary and the earthly father of Jesus Christ. Saint Joseph was the husband of the Virgin Mary and the earthly father of Jesus Christ.

The origins of the holiday can be traced back to the Middle Ages in Europe. However, it became more widely celebrated in the 17th century after a famine struck Sicily, and the locals prayed to Saint Joseph for relief.

How About The Food?!๏ปฟ

Now on to my favorite part, what we eat to celebrate it! Italians call it "la Tavola di San Giuseppe," which means Saint Joseph's table.

I sampled Saint Joesph's Day cuisine from Florence, Rome, and Sicily when I lived in Italy. The food is traditionally light on meat and more pasta-centered since the holiday falls in the "Lent" season, which many regard as a time to abstain from eating meat.

Somehow, Italians don't consider fish a "meat," so what they really mean is a "red meat," although opinions will vary in different parts of Italy.

Of course, Italians eat two full meals in every sitting and call it one (god, I loved living there!). So a Piatto Primo (plate one) of pasta or polenta AND a Piatto Secondo (second plate) of meat, plus everything else you can think of to eat and drink before, during, and after.

So in Florence and Rome, the Saint Joseph's Piatto Primo is typically a meatless pasta with a Piatto Secondo of chicken. In Southern Italy, it's pasta with fish and then a fish secondo.

The Food List!๏ปฟ

Here's a list of the Saint Joseph Day "traditional menu," courtesy of ChatGPT:

  1. Pasta con le sarde: A pasta dish made with sardines, anchovies, fennel, raisins, and pine nuts.
  2. Minestrone: A hearty vegetable soup that is typically made with beans, potatoes, carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
  3. Zeppole: A pastry that is similar to a donut, but it is filled with sweetened ricotta cheese and topped with powdered sugar.
  4. St. Joseph's Bread: A traditional bread that is shaped like a cross or a staff, and it is often decorated with sesame seeds.
  5. Frittelle di riso: Sweet rice fritters that are fried and served with honey.
  6. Cucidati: A type of Sicilian cookie that is filled with figs, dates, and nuts.
  7. Baccalร : Salted cod that is typically served with potatoes and onions.

And after a request to add more:

  1. Sfinge: A type of Sicilian pastry that is fried and filled with sweetened ricotta cheese.
  2. Pignolata: A sweet Sicilian pastry made of fried dough balls covered in honey.
  3. Cassata: A Sicilian dessert made of sponge cake layered with ricotta cheese and candied fruit.
  4. Caponata: A Sicilian dish made of eggplant, celery, capers, olives, and tomatoes that are cooked and served cold as a salad or appetizer.
  5. Arancini: Deep-fried rice balls that are usually filled with cheese, peas, and meat.
  6. Struffoli: Small balls of dough that are fried and covered in honey and sprinkles.
  7. Caciocavallo cheese: A type of cheese made from sheep's milk that is often served on Saint Joseph's Day with bread and olives.

We usually have the baccala for the "fish dinner" on Christmas Eve and the Cassata on Easter. The Pignolata, a diabetic's nightmare, is good anytime!

The Star Of The Show!

Of course, even with a crazy amount of food, the Zeppole is the star of the show! Here's what ChatGPT has to say about the origins of this delicious treat!

The origins of zeppole can be traced back to ancient Roman times, when they were known as "scriblita". These were small fried dough balls that were served with honey and poppy seeds.

Over time, the recipe for scriblita evolved and was adapted by different cultures throughout Italy. In the Naples region, a type of zeppole called "zeppola di San Giuseppe" became popular during the celebration of Saint Joseph's Day. These zeppole were made with a choux pastry dough and filled with sweetened ricotta cheese, which is still the most popular version of zeppole today.

In other regions of Italy, zeppole are made with different types of dough and fillings. For example, in Calabria, zeppole are made with a potato-based dough and are typically filled with anchovy, capers, and olives. In Sicily, they are made with a brioche-like dough and are often filled with sweetened ricotta cheese or pastry cream.

Today, zeppole are enjoyed in many different countries around the world, and they continue to be a beloved treat for special occasions and holidays.๏ปฟ

AND, here is a list from ChatGPT of various types of traditional zeppoles:

  1. Zeppole di San Giuseppe: These are the most traditional type of zeppole and are typically eaten on Saint Joseph's Day. They are made with a choux pastry dough and are filled with sweetened ricotta cheese and topped with powdered sugar.
  2. Zeppole di Natale: These are a type of zeppole that is typically served during the Christmas season. They are made with the same choux pastry dough as the Saint Joseph's Day zeppole, but they are usually filled with custard or chocolate.
  3. Zeppole fritte: These are a type of zeppole that is fried instead of baked. They are often made with a simple dough that is rolled into balls and then fried until golden brown. They can be dusted with powdered sugar or served with a dipping sauce.
  4. Zeppole al forno: These are a type of zeppole that is baked instead of fried. They are made with a similar dough as the fried zeppole, but they are baked in the oven until golden brown.
  5. Zeppole salate: These are a savory type of zeppole that is often filled with cheese, herbs, or other savory ingredients instead of the sweet ricotta filling. They can be served as a snack or appetizer.

I have to say I've had every type of zeppole on this list, except the zeppole salate. So. now I have something new to try, which Stacy will gladly make since she can't resist cooking something new!

What Is The Zeppole Shuffle?

Ahhh, you don't know about the Italian "zeppole shuffle?" No, it's not a song or a dance. It's more like "food management!"

In my family, Saint Joseph's day is a time for visiting, and no self-respecting Italian would dare to come without a dozen zeppoles in hand! As the pastry boxes build up, it would take a small army to eat them all, so we call friends and neighbors to come and partake of our Italian feast. Then, after they've eaten themselves into sweet oblivion, we send them home with a pastry box of zeppoles!

Haha, after they've stuffed themselves and experienced that GI-shunt of blood away from their brain, the "zeppole doggy bag" seems to make sense!

I remember the zeppole shuffle from my earliest childhood days, and it takes a lot of savvy not to end up with an overload of this delicious creamy treat that gets soggy after a day and tastes terrible if you freeze them!

My Question For You

What are you going to eat to commemorate Saint Joseph's Day? I've given you plenty to choose from!

The least you can do is have a zeppole or two! In the "old days," you had to go to the Italian specialty store to get a zeppole or make them from scratch. My grandmothers and mother always made them, along with the rest of the meal.

These days, you can get one in most supermarkets, so what are you waiting for? Grab a few in your favorite flavors (ChatGPT):

  1. Chocolate-filled zeppoles: These are zeppoles that are filled with chocolate cream or chocolate ganache, making them a rich and decadent treat.
  2. Vanilla-filled zeppoles: Vanilla cream or custard-filled zeppoles are a classic flavor that is often found in supermarkets.
  3. Strawberry-filled zeppoles: Zeppoles filled with strawberry cream or jam are a fruity and refreshing option.
  4. Cinnamon-sugar zeppoles: These are plain zeppoles that are coated in cinnamon-sugar, giving them a warm and comforting flavor.
  5. Lemon-filled zeppoles: Lemon cream-filled zeppoles are a tangy and bright flavor option that is perfect for spring and summer.
  6. Pumpkin spice zeppoles: During the fall season, supermarkets may offer pumpkin spice zeppoles, which are flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and other warm spices.
  7. Raspberry-filled zeppoles: Raspberry-filled zeppoles are a sweet and slightly tart flavor option that is perfect for berry lovers.

Rock On (with a zeppole)! ๐Ÿค˜
๏ปฟFrank ๐ŸŽธ

Create Your Free Wealthy Affiliate Account Today!
4-Steps to Success Class
One Profit Ready Website
Market Research & Analysis Tools
Millionaire Mentorship
Core โ€œBusiness Start Upโ€ Training

Recent Comments


Frank, Frank, Frank!!!!
Where is our WA LOVE! button?!?!

We are Catholics, with some Italian blood, so, yes, we also celebrate St Joseph's Day.

My treat is always Italian Donoughts, as we call them here.
I love mine laced with cinnamon and fresh raspberry preserves.


Our house was filled with classical music and we enjoyed it with family.

I do enjoy reading about all your fun celebrations and the food to go with them.

Enjoy the week ahead!


Hi, Cassi

Yes, I do believe we share the same DNA in so many ways! ๐Ÿ‘

I ate so much yesterday that I'm surprised I'm still alive today! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

My greatest memories are from growing up in my crazy Italian family! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Rock On! ๐Ÿค˜
Frank ๐ŸŽธ

You made me laugh out loud there, Frank!

We do eat and drink a lot at these celebrations, don't we?
It is fun though.

Zafirah and I are back in Florida for Easter and I am looking forward to celebrations there with family and friends.

More food . . . gosh!


Hi, Cassi

Yes, Easter is a biggie!

We Start the week before, with โ€œPalm Sunday,โ€ when we visit our family and friends.

Lots of eating on that day, to prepare for the Easter Sunday meal, which is could be an Olympic event!

Plans are already being made for the menu!

Have s fabulous time in Florida! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Frank ๐ŸŽธ

These Catholic, Italian families, eh?!? ๐Ÿ˜‚

I love it all, Frank!!!


Yeah! Me, too, Cassi!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Ž


Hey, Frank. I hope you are having a great day. That was an exciting post problem. Now I have the munchies, LOL.

I hope you have a great evening!

While doing some spring cleaning, I have been going through some old albums today and came across a great old album. I used to love these guys.



Hi, Chet

Haha, Yes, I do!

I have some vinyl on them. I think it's "Chicken Train." I'll have to dig it out, or maybe I'll stream some of their tunes. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Rock On! ๐Ÿค˜
Frank ๐ŸŽธ

That sounds like a really good treat. I want to try the zeppoles sometime.
Have a happy St. Joseph's Day, Frank!


Thanks, Myra! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽธ

You're making me hungry for zeppoles, Frank! They are one of my faves and my local Italian baker makes them just right. I didn't realize they were significant to today, though...thought it was more for the Easter season. Either way they are delicious. Enjoy your feast!

Susan ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽธ๐Ÿฅฎ

Hi, Susan

Yeah, Zeppoles are good anytime, but they are specific for St Joseph's day.

When we went to our Italian bakery specializing in Zeppoles with the original ingredients, the LED sign on the highway run by the state said, "Slow down, there's plenty of Zeppoles left!" Too bad I didn't have time to get a photo of it.

There were 33 customers in front of us when we got there today! Stacy also grabbed some of the flavored Zeppoles and other pastries, with wine, pepper, and egg biscuits, plus Italian bread, so it was worth the wait.

I'm overstuffed with food and can't eat another thing, well, maybe my midnight snack! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Frank ๐ŸŽธ

Haha, Frank! Thatโ€™s priceless and would have made a great pic indeed! Those zeppoles must be legendary for a wait like that. Sounds devine! Iโ€™m going to have to pick some up soon. Enjoy the rest of your evening! ๐ŸŽธ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Yeah, they're the best ones in the whole damn state, and they're all gone!

Have a great evening, too, Susan! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽธ

Good food

The best! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Ž

All.that good sounds yummy.

Lol super yummy, Joyce! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽธ

Happy St Joseph's day Frank!

I've just had dinner but you are making me feel hungry again here buddy!!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday my friend and Rock on!!


Thanks, Nick!

Can you get a zeppole in France?? ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽธ

Quite possibly Frank, but it is never something I have ever asked for!!


My son-in-law's name is Joseph. Ironically, he texted me this morning as I was reading your post. I told him it was his day because it is St. Joseph's Day. He thought I was joking so I shared your post with him. Thanks for letting us know about this. BTW - my granddaughter said she likes it because...well...any excuse to eat a lot. lol!!!


Hi, Hazel

That's great! I hope you'll all try a zeppole.

Your granddaughter sounds a little Italian to me. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

I am laughing out loud, Frank! I will tell her what you said...and that we have to try zeppole!


That's great! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Ž

Waooh i did not really know what is saints Josephโ€™s now I do
Happy St Joseph day and may you make the day with happiness and joy

Thanks, Kevin!

I'm having quite a good time. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Didn't know about this but now I do
Happy St Joseph day
Make every minute count

Thanks, Simone; I intend to!

Try a zeppole. They're so good ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽธ

It does sound lovely :)



See more comments

Create Your Free Wealthy Affiliate Account Today!
4-Steps to Success Class
One Profit Ready Website
Market Research & Analysis Tools
Millionaire Mentorship
Core โ€œBusiness Start Upโ€ Training