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Well, it's March, and for me, it's Zeppole time. Well, that's when they start making them at Molisana (Somerled ave) for the festival of San Gennaro. I was just there today, and got two - a whipped cream filled one and a ricotta filled one, and well, I'm not happy. They are quite small in size, a little expensive (2.50 for the cream, 2.75 for the ricotta) and were so greasy I could barely finish it. Now, I love greasy food as much as the next person (can you say breakfast at Cosmos??) but this was greasy like the oil wasn't at the right temperature and instead of frying the pastries absorbed oil and then fried.

Are there any other Italian bakeries that make these delicious fried dough jewels?

Will travel for good zeppole.

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  1. oooh more fried food... I am O.D.ing on fried foods right now, but could totally take one for the team to try more fried products, and zeppoles fit the bill... help us out Montreal Chowhounders! Why is fried dough so delicious? (stupid diet)

    1. I don't actually have any suggestions but just wanted to add that they are traditionally made for La Festa di San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph's Day) on March 19th. :)

      1. The Alati-Caserta (277 Dante, 514 271-3013) version isn't deep-fried but is highly satsifactory. The ones at Alati (5265 Jean-Talon East in St-Léonard, 514-729-289) are legendary but, last I heard, only available on March 19 and have to be ordered two weeks in advance (i.e. today).

        Am meaning to try the ones at Cornetteria (6528 St-Laurent, 514 277-8030) because I like their namesake pastries and because ...an endless banquet has this to say: "what may be the city’s best zeppole di San Giuseppe (Saturdays during Lent only) because they’re deep-fried, they’re filled with a truly fantastic whipped cream, they have a touch of lemon to them, and somehow, miraculously, they’re light. San Giuseppe, I’m sure, is smiling."

        4 Replies
        1. re: carswell


          No need to order two weeks in advance. We just called now and they said we could stop by and pick them up at 2pm.

          1. re: carswell

            Not a big fan of the zeppole at Cornetteria although the staff seem like great people. Too much cream for the amount of dough means you have to fight to keep them from disintegrating in your hands and the amount of cream combined with the fact they are deep fried makes them much too rich. To me it seems like a zeppola very much geared to North American tastes. As for the quality of the cream, it is good but no better than you get at Alati-Caserta. Then again I found their cornette dry and pretty unremarkable so maybe its just a case of different strokes for different folks...

            1. re: thelonious777

              Well, it isn't the first time our tastes diverged.

              Given the weather, I didn't make the trek to Cornetteria yesterday. Will see if I can swing it next Saturday.

              Edit: Drat. Probably not. Have tickets to Peter Grimes at the Paramount...

            2. re: carswell

              ...an endless banquet has just posted a short piece on La Cornetteria's zeppole. Includes an exhortation ("Get 'em while they last!"), a pic and a quote from a pastry chef ("may be my favorite deep-fried dessert of all time"). Saturday (March 15) and Wednesday (March 19) are the last days they'll be on offer this year. Carpe diem.


            3. San Marco makes them. Can't remember what they taste like, just remember that when my MIL Giuseppina was living in Montreal, she wasn't happy if we didn't buy them for her every year, and San Marco was close to her house.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Venusia

                Thanks for the correction on the "festa" - can't keep them all straight. LOL

                I think I will try both the Cornetteria and San Marco (if I can find it)

                1. re: maisonbistro

                  San Marco's easy to find. 1581 Jean-Talon East, just west of the Fabre metro station. 514 727-5401.

              2. There is a diference between Zeppoli and Zeppoli di San Giuseppe. Zeppoli are fried dough. My grandmother used to make two kinds -- one with sugar, and another savory one stuffed with anchovies. Zeppoli di San Giuseppe are a pastry and usually have a pastry cream filling. My father's name was Joseph so we would get these every year on St. Joseph's day, and it was traditional to pull his earlobe as we kissed him and wished him Happy St. Joseph's Day. I have no idea why we did that, but that was the tradition!

                1 Reply
                1. re: squasher1114

                  In Italy, zeppoli di San Giuseppe are definitely deep fried, with pastry cream filling. And boy, are they good. Not greasy at all, and more filling than you could believe could possibly be stuffed inside. I made hubby take photos before we ate ours, but I don't have the cable to upload photos to my laptop with me - will have to wait until I'm back to show you guys what real zeppoli look like...unfortunately, much as I'd love to, I can't share their taste with you...we practically inhaled them...

                2. Casa italia on jean talon makes them pretty good and they are bigger than they were from last year.

                  1. Two very good places you could try (I'd phone first) are Salerno on Charland, and Baci on Jean-Talon near Viau.

                    1. Roma Bakery on St Laurent below Marche Milano has the best Canoli and Zeppole in town I bought both last nite (cream and ricotta) absoutely delicious.Go early on weekends.

                      1. WHEEEE! On a major sugar and expresso high after a tour of Italian Patisseries this morning!!! After guilting my poor hubbie out for cancelling our zeppole run last Saturday (What storm?), I was able to convince him to take me to 4 different places to sample zeppole. Here is the report:

                        1. La Cornetteria (photo #1): 6528 St. Laurent (514) 277-8030

                        This zeppola is different than the other zeppole we tasted, as it was the most reminiscent of a donut, which is what I thought a zeppole was. (keep in mind I have never had a zeppola, so sorry to true fans of the pastry, my basis for comparison is non-existent. I'll try to keep the descriptions factual). The pastry has a deep-fried base of dough with a dusting of sugar resembling a sugar doughnut. The dough is fairly light, and kind of reminds me of churros. There is a large pile of whipped cream on top, light and delicate. I don't normally like whipped cream much, but this is a lovely whipped cream. There is one filling only, whipped cream. I found them to be lighter than some of the other zeppole filled with ricotta and custard.

                        Please note: It was reported that they would have them again on Wed. March 19. However, when I spoke to the proprietor, he mentioned they might not. He said he was going to speak to one of the bakers, so they might be convinced. But if you plan to go Wednesday for zeppole, you'd better call to confirm they have them.

                        2. Boulangerie et Patisserie Roma: 6776 St. Laurent (514) 273-9357: (photo #2)

                        These zeppole look different than the other ones. They are a ball of dough that resemble a profiterole. They are dusted with icing sugar on top, and have a hole in the bottom from their injection with custard or ricotta filling. They look like they are deep-fried, but when we tasted them, they don't taste deep-fried, so I was surprised! But I think they are deep-fried, and I was just confused because I was expecting something closer to a doughnut. The dough has a firm, bready exterior but is lighter on the inside. We tried the ricotta filling, and it was rich, creamy, mildly sweetened, everything you could want from a ricotta filling. And like a profiterole, there was very little dough and lots of filling. This is a rich pastry, and dense. We will be trying a custard one later, but I just swooped up a fingerful of the custard from the outside of the zeppole while no one was looking. The custard has a haunting flavour of citrus and zest, and a wonderful smooth texture.

                        As a side note, we also purchased some of the cannoli, as I love cannoli and couldn't resist. They have some interesting fillings, like pistachio, hazelnut, and chocolate cream as well as the usual ricotta and custard fillings. And for those of us who can't decide what flavour to get, they have some cannoli that are filled half and half. So I picked up one with ricotta and chocolate cream, and one with pistachio and hazelnut cream. I have no idea when I'll eat them, as I've stuffed myself with zeppole. But it will be sometime today, I understand I must eat them fresh. Oh that diet...(sigh)

                        3. Pasticceria Alati: 5265 Jean Talon Est (St. Leonard) (514) 729-2891 (photo #3)

                        It was here that I think I began to understand what a true zeppola is. (please feel free to correct me if you disagree, again, I am a novice to zeppole). Again, this is deep-fried, but the pastry is quite different from a doughnut. When you bite into the dough, it is firm, yet light. This seems like a contradiction, but this is the best way I can describe this texture. This zeppola is constructed like a little sandwich, and there is a large amount of fillling. You can choose ricotta or custard. We had the custard, which was rich and smooth. This zeppole is deceptively light, lighter than the Roma zeppole. You could easily eat a half a dozen of these, and then pay the price later when the richness catches up with you and knocks you out like Muhammed Ali would (all that light like a butterfly stuff).

                        The Alati people said they would have them until Easter, then no more. But they also sell out quickly, so call before you go.

                        4. Baci: 5115 Jean Talon Est (St. Leonard) (514) 721-5000 (photo #4)

                        I happened to see a sign in their window as we were driving to Alati, and decided it might be worth a stop. This is an outpost of another Italian pastry shop in Riviere des Prairies called Amaretti (514) 648-7000, 7454 Maurice Duplessis), apparently the zeppole came from there. The zeppole resembled the zeppole from Alati, but with a twist: they have different flavours! Apart from the usual ricotta and custard fillings, you could get Bailey's (yes as in Irish cream), cappucino, lemoncillo and Caramilk flavoured creams! The dough is similar to the Alati dough, perhaps a touch less refined, a bit heavier, but still delicious. We bought the lemoncillo and the Caramilk one, and tasted the Caramilk one. The cream is surprisingly light, and had a subtle flavour of milk and caramel. It is decorated with a piece of Caramilk. Very fun change, but definitely not traditional. We will have to try the Lemoncillo one later, but soon.

                        So there you have it! All pastries were wonderful! But now I am quite buzzy from sugar and expresso... Definitely worth hunting these babies out. I'm not quite sure if this qualifies as seasonal eating, but now I am looking forward to next Easter.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: moh

                          Oh dear! It did not add Photo number 4, with the lemoncillo and Caramilk zeppole. I'll add it here, as two different photos.

                          1. re: moh

                            Huh! No Caramilk photo: Here it is.

                            1. re: moh

                              One last try, then I give up.

                          2. re: moh

                            OMG woman, are you insane??? So many zeppole so little time. My experience with zeppole is also limited - as I always bought them in and around NDG. They were balls of dough, deep fried and filled with either whipped cream or ricotta.

                            Did you say caramilk?? I'm gonna have to try me one of those.

                            1. re: moh

                              To all readers and bloggers i want to say thank you for the wonderful comments you guys wrote about our our cornetti's and our zeppole's we really appreciate it.

                              I also wanted to add that we will have zeppole tomorrow being the 19th and we will also be open until 3 pm or until end of stock.

                              Again thank you for all your support
                              La Cornetteria

                              1. re: lacornetteria

                                Buona festa di san Giuseppe, Cornetteria!

                                1. re: lacornetteria

                                  Will they be available only at the store or also at your regular Mile End outlets like Caffè in Gamba and Em Café? In view of the weather forecast, I'm hoping the latter.

                                  1. re: carswell

                                    unfortunately they will only be available here at la cornetteria until 3 pm
                                    then the recipe will go back in the vault until next year

                                    thank you lagatta same to you

                                    to all we wish a great San Giuseppe and i will take the opportunity to wish you a great Easter and remind you that we will be open saturday from 5 am to 5 pm
                                    there will be cornetti's and bomboloni on the menu
                                    see you soon

                                    La Cornetteria

                              2. Well, I finally had a zeppole last night at Bottega, yum! It was baked not fried, like a moist profiterole, with creamy pudding-like pastry cream. I think they only have 'em until this weekend, and pastiera too, naturally.



                                  THE CREME DE LA CREME ZEPPOLE CAN BE FOUND AT :

                                  LES DELICES LAFRENAIE
                                  8415 RUE LAFRENAIE
                                  ST-LEONARD, QC, Canada
                                  H1P 2B3
                                  Telephone: (514) 324-8039 OR deliceslafrenaie@bellnet.ca


                                  ENJOY !!!!

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: LLLYSA

                                    Thanks for the post, but next time, could you not scream (all caps) - it's not necessary.

                                    Thanks for the info. Zeppole all year round?? Hmmm, they'd lose their oomph if I knew I could have them all the time? I think I'll stick with my march madness.

                                    1. re: maisonbistro

                                      I could handle zeppole all year round... but maybe I'll institute some kind of artificial rule like "2 hours of bike riding per zeppole" and "No poutine on the same bike ride", Summer better get here soon!

                                      1. re: moh


                                        Poutine & Zeppole. Sounds almost as delicious as Kimchi flavored Jell-o. Although I do feel that they both (along with a Foie Gras Mae West) would go a long way towards making 'reasonable accommodation' go down much easier here.

                                        1. re: zekesgallery

                                          That or turn a lot of people off eating in Montreal....

                                          You know, the Fois Gras Mae West doesn't sound half bad... But what would be better would be a fois gras Caramel. Oddly enough, I have been served fois gras dishes that are fairly similar in concept.

                                          1. re: moh

                                            I'm telling ya, Perfection Salad (cabbage, vinegar, sugar, gelatin) with kimchi. It's gonna be the next big thing.

                                            1. re: rcianci

                                              May Issue of Bon Appetit has a recipe for zeppole. Now I have to try it.


                                    2. re: LLLYSA

                                      Where do you get the idea that Zeppole is made year around at Les Delices Lafrenaie? I was just there. When I told them what you posted, he told me you're wrong(as I was looking for it). They only sold Zeppole until about Easter. Their address for the storefront is actually 8405 Lafrenaie.