With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

14 March 2009

Buzz Around New England: Peanut-Free and Nut-Free Zeppoles

Unless you hail from an area with a good number of Italian immigrants or descendants of Italian immigrants, you probably haven't heard of St. Joseph's Day. I have spent a fair amount of time in nearby Rhode Island and can say that it's still alive and well there, though the focus may be less on religion these days and more on food--zeppoles, to be specific.

In Rhode Island, there is a peanut-free, nut-free bakery making zeppoles this year--A & J Bakery*. They're for pick-up only, so those of you lucky enough to live nearby, try to get there soon. St. Joseph's is March 19. They're offering a special for the celebration: Buy 12 get 3 free or Buy 6 get 1 free. (Confession: they aren't small and I ate 1 all by myself pretty darn quick!)

Saint Joseph's Day, according to Wikipedia:

"Saint Joseph's Day Celebrations in the United States

In New Orleans, Louisiana, which was a major port of entry for Sicilian immigrants during the late 19th century, the Feast of St. Joseph is a city-wide event. Both public and private St. Joseph's altars are traditionally built. The altars are usually open to any visitor who wishes to pay homage. The food is generally distributed to charity after the altar is dismantled.

There are also parades in honor of St. Joseph and the Italian population of New Orleans which are similar to the many marching clubs and truck parades of Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day. Tradition in New Orleans also holds that by burying a small statue of St. Joseph in your yard, your house will sell more promptly. In addition to the above traditions, some groups of Mardi Gras Indians stage their last procession of the season on the Sunday prior to St. Joseph's day otherwise known as "Super Sunday," after which their costumes are dismantled.
St Joseph's Day is also celebrated in other American communities with high proportions of Italians such as New York City; Buffalo; Chicago [8]; Kansas City, MO; Gloucester, Mass. ; and Rhode Island."

*We are very grateful that A & J Bakery is one of Food Allergy Buzz's sponsors.


Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

Oh my, those look wonderful.. Wish we had a bakery like that close. Yummy. Makes me want to go make something sweet.

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

THANK YOU for sharing this!! I've been meaning to google St. Joseph's Day. They are celebrating it at my sons school (the non food allergy child) and I had never heard of it before (and I'm part Italian so go figure). We aren't doing anything with zeppoles. But they sure look yummy. In fact, I'm in charge of baked beans. Again, go figure. Thanks for the background. It's nice to have some information on what feast my son will be participating in this Thursday.

Unknown said...

I'm not Italian but I do remember seeing the decorations on Federal Hill in Providence as a child and eating zeppoles too. They're really yummy! Anyone know how to make a dairy-free version? Is it even possible?