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Mar 19, 2007 08:34 AM

It's St Joseph's Day (3/19) - get your Italian donuts

Just a reminder than on March 19th many Italian bakeries sell Italian donuts called sfingi & zeppole.

Emporio Rulli usually sells both. Victoria Bakery sells a custard filled zeppole which still ranks as one of the finest donuts I have ever eaten. Both places have shops in SF & Marin.

Melanie posted that Bovolo has zeppole today.

She also reported about a new Italian Bakery in Sebastopol called Sfoglia Italian Bakery & Cafe ... so might be something there.

Does anyone know if any Italian restaurants serve special St. Joseph's Day dishes. Here's a little on the General Board

Hope you'll report back on your finds.

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  1. Oh my god. I just got zeppole from Victoria and it's divine. The delicate, puffy crust is coated in sugar and filled with rich, cold custard. It was a pretty big guy, too--probably enough to share, though if you tried to take a piece of mine I'd be willing to use violence to defend it.

    For those searching for this place, note that it's Victoria Pastry (not bakery). Also, I've never had zeppole before and didn't know what to look for; when I asked if they had an italian donut, they told me they didn't make donuts and directed me to other bakeries. Ask for zeppole by name.

    5 Replies
    1. re: pane

      Yeah, they are amazing. They have ricotta and plain zeppole too ... but they are not even in the same class as the custard.

      1. re: pane

        Oh, wow. Do you think these hold up for an afternoon/bart ride home to Berkeley? Or do they need to be consumed on the spot.

        1. re: megek

          They hold up. I think they make them in the morning.

          1. re: rworange

            Anyone have frittelle di riso for St. Joseph's Day? That's what my mom would make on March 19. She was from the Lucca area. They are deep fried rice fritters, really delicious when hot.

            1. re: Laura2

              Laura2 frittelle di riso are exactly the things coked up most Sundays at Danilo Bakery and cited elsewhere in this thread by my own self. Just had two. Yum.

      2. I stopped in Greenbrae to check out the San Giuseppe action at Victoria Pastry and asked for zeppole. The counter lady said they didn't make zeppole but could offer me sfingi. I got the last custard-filled one. There were a bunch of ricotta ones left. This puppy cost me more than $4 with tax included.

        It cracked me up that the shell is identical to a Chinese tong sah yuen (sugar-coated puff aka ja daan or egg bomb), made with eggy pate choux (cream puff pastry), deep-fried, and dusted with granulated sugar. The custard filling was not as rich as I expected, tasting a bit starchy here.

        Image of custard-filled sfingi:

        3 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I saw Italian doughnuts at Hopkins Bakery in North Berkeley on Saturday -- didn't realize there was a seasonal aspect to them, and didn't try one. Not sure but I think they were custard-filled.

          1. re: Nina

            Nooooo ... I was just to busy to get away for the donuts. I was dying to go to Bovolo, but just couldn't do it ... however, I could have made it to Hopkins ... who would guess. Thanks for the heads up . Next year if I'm in the area.

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            I got some Zeppole from Victoria N.B. because Danilo was closed (onna counta Monday). Pretty good,big,and I agree about the custard. Like the difference between Jello chocolate pudding and Sweet Princess Darcella's chocolate puddin' with eggs and stuff. I've always felt that Victoria's is not above cutting corners in ingredient-ville(particularly in the shortening neighborhood) For $.50 more i got more real food enjoyment out of the Ricotta version. Next year I'll go back to Danilo if they have them, otherwise Victoria's is a perfectly good back-up. Incidentally,what C.M. sold you as a sfingo looked just like what N.B. was calling a zeppola. Finally, on Sundays only Danilo (Green off Grant) makes lovely frittele. In this case little gems of citrussy rice puddin fried and rolled in sugar. I'm off for some right now.

          3. rw, do us a favor and alert us a day or two BEFORE St. Joseph's Day next time! I walked by Victoria twice today, completely unawares.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Gary Soup

              >rw, do us a favor and alert us a day or two BEFORE St. Joseph's Day
              so any Food DISTANT EARLY WARNINGS for Easter in teh Yeah Area?
              another thread probably ...

              1. re: psb

                Here's your one day before alert, Gary

            2. Here's an emailed note from a shy 'hound:
              "Dan stopped by Galli's Sanitary Bakery in SSF on his way to work today to pick up Zeppole, but alas they no longer make them ("Not enough Italians live here anymore")."

              1. St. Joseph's Day may be long gone but Hopkins Bakery in North Berkeley still has the Italian doughnuts. I had one today, and thought it was okay but nothing special - but your mileage may vary.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Nina

                  Thank you, thank you, thank you. May not be great, but still would like to add to my list to try. I'm so bummed this year that I've had to miss so much. I'll stop by there.