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Mar 18, 2007 09:35 PM

Zeppole Chowdown at Bovolo, 9am, 3/19/07

In honor of Southern Italian tradition for San Giuseppe day, let's meet at Healdsburg's Bovolo for zeppole and hot chocolate at 9am on Monday, March 19.

Bovolo (inside Plaza Farms)
106 Matheson St.
Plenty of parking in the back

No RSVP needed, just show up. Questions . . . please email me at

St Joseph's Day, March 19 thread on General Chowhounding board:

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  1. So, did anyone go? I was dying to, but just couldn't get away.

    1. Zeppole Chowdown

      On St. Joseph’s Day, lapsed chowhound Sally met me at Bovolo for a zeppole breakfast. When she arrived with Molecule, the cute ball of black fur, she asked, “have you had the zeppole here before?” “No”, I replied, “I’ve already ordered with a side of sausage.” Then she went on to explain that Bovolo’s version were unlike any she’d ever had in Sicilian strongholds on the East Coast.

      Image of Bovolo’s zeppole -

      And, I’ll have to say that these deep-fried biscuit fingers were not at all what I was expecting either. Served with a tossing of cinnamon sugar, Sally asked if we could have powder sugar too and soon the plate had a dusting. These were kinda chewy, like overworked beignet dough, and had a tough rather than crisp exterior. Not really anything to recommend them flavorwise either. They're available every day here, but can't hold a candle to Zeppole di San Giuseppe.

      But we did like the Scharffenberger hot chocolate. Not super-rich with a pleasing milk chocolate tone and roasted notes that made it comforting for the morning brew.

      Neither of us are Catholic, but I’d read that St. Joseph’s is a mid-Lenten feast day where meat can be consumed. And in that area Bovolo excels. The Black pig sausage was wonderful with brilliant flavor and surprisingly lean. I was not as taken with the house-cured bacon, as the meat part of the slices was somewhat tough. But I did find the clear strips of fat on them quite amazing in texture and flavor, still can’t believe that pure fat could have such a clean finish.

      Image of hot chocolate, bacon and sausage -

      6 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Wow, that is so different from any zepolle I tried or saw pictures of. Thanks for the virtual snack ... and the info they are always available. Even if they aren't great, I'd like to add them to my zepolle experience.

        1. re: rworange

          I've read about some zeppole that are described as "cookies" rather than "donuts", and i suspect that these might be in the cookie camp. By the time I was ready to leave around 10:30am, I noticed a lot of old-worldish Italian-looking matrons in the place, not the usual customer, so I think they might have been there for zeppole on its special day.

        2. re: Melanie Wong

          That reminded me that I stopped into Bovolo last Fall and had their zeppole. I had never had zeppole before anywhere so had no expectations at all, and I liked them a lot (including their chewiness). Now you've got me thinking I should try another version. Where do get the one you called Zeppole di San Giuseppe?

          1. re: Mick Ruthven

            In the Bay Area you might have to wait till St. Joseph's day on Marcdh 19th. I haven't seen them any other time, but I haven't looked that hard. You could ask at Italian bakeries. This might help get you started

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            wow! those are weird looking! i grew up in NYC and ate zeppole all the time growing up - and non looked like that! does anyone know if there's anyone who makes these in SF proper?

            1. re: sfoperalover

              Years ago, there was a stand at the North Beach Fair that sold zeppole. They were in no way the equal of what I ate several times at the Festa de San Gennaro in Little Italy, but I don't recall seeing zeppole anywhere else in these parts.