Feast of St. Joseph
In many Italian-American communities, St. Joseph, who prevented a famine in Sicily during the Middle Ages is regarded as a Patron Saint. There was a severe drought at the time, and the people prayed for rain; promising that if he answered their prayers, they would prepare a large feast in his honor. The rain came, and the people of Sicily prepared the banquet. Since they were saved from starvation, giving food to the needy also became a St. Joseph’s Day custom. The fava bean, the abundant crop, has become a traditional part of St. Joseph’s Day
Upon a typical St. Joseph’s Day feast altar(in three tiers to represent the trinity), people place flowers, candles, limes, wine, meatless dishes(the Lenten fast), fava beans, specially prepared cakes, breads, cookies and, of course, zeppole, the cream filled pastries.
Tradition says that the zeppole was named after the Zeppelin AirShip, lighter than air.Have you had a zeppole? Do you really think it is lighter than air? No matter. They are delicious and it’s once a year. The Feast is on March 17th.