Breakfast Week 2006 is suddenly turning into Italian Pastries Week 2006. There are worse things, right?
We thought we might have missed them, but we were happy to find out this morning that there are still zeppole di San Giuseppe to be found in Little Italy. Knowing there was no time to mess around, seeing as almost a week had passed since San Giuseppe's saint day (March 19), we went to Patisserie Alati-Caserta on Dante,
the Little Italy establishment that prides itself on its zeppole the most, the place that would be most likely to have kept zeppole around for an encore performance (and one of our two favorite Little Italy bakeries/patisseries). Patisserie Alati-Caserta's zeppole are not the fritters native to Naples made with candied fruit, almonds, and sometimes honey that you read about from time to time, they're the modern version, a cream puff made with choux pastry and stuffed with either ricotta, crema, tiramisu, or gianduia, but, that said, they're delicious all the same. We chose to go with the ricotta filling, which, like a good cannoli filling, came with pieces of candied fruit and chocolate bits (the reasons for the similarity are simple: zeppole are native to Naples, but are also a specialty in parts of Sicily; cannoli are native to Palermo, and common across Sicily and parts of Southern Italy). We had one just outside Patisserie Alati-Caserta's premises, in Dante Park next to the bocce ball court where games will soon be raging long into the night, and saved another one to have with our second coffee of the day.
Get 'em while they're still around. If not for yourself, do it for old St. Joe.
Patisserie Alati-Caserta, 277 Dante, 271-3013