Today, Italy is celebrating San Giuseppe or St. Joseph, a day dedicated to fathers. It is also the onomastic or saint day for all those named Giuseppe or Giuseppina. Yeah, it’s a pretty busy day, and in Cosenza it means it’s time for La Fiera di San Giuseppe or the Saint Joseph’s Fair. This outdoor market is one of the oldest and most important traditions in Cosenza and dates back to 1234 when it was first established by Frederick II of Swabia.
Every year, residents and visitors from all over come to shop the stands, take in live music and entertainment and just enjoy the energy that the fair gives off. Here you will find artisan products, flowers, plants, and you will most certainly find “Le Zeppole di San Giuseppe”; a delicious sweet which has become the symbol of this day as well as the fiera.
Where the zeppole originate from is uncertain – some say it originated during the Roman period, while others say Naples is its birthplace. Regardless, it is a typical Italian dessert that is prepared and enjoyed throughout the country.
Here in Cosenza, Zeppole consist of dough that is fried or baked in the shape of a ring which is then filled with a pastry cream and then topped with icing sugar, more pastry cream and an amarena cherry. You will find this yummy treat everywhere whether it’s in your local bakery or your neighbour’s house. If you find yourself in Italy or pass by an Italian bakery in your hometown during this period, definitely pop in and give this dessert a try!
Have you ever tried zeppole? Do you make them at home? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!