Dear PoPville – St. Joseph’s Day Pastries?

St. Joseph's Day pastries

“Dear PoPville,

My family always celebrated St. Joseph’s Day on March 19th. The best part of this celebration was the St. Joseph’s Day pastries we had every year. All the local bakeries made them along with the supermarkets. They are puff pastries filled with cannoli or vanilla cream filling with powered sugar and a cherry on top. They were delicious and remind me of home. The problem is I can never seem to find them in DC. Does anyone know of a bakery that sells these wonderful pastries on the 19th?”

I’d check with Litteri’s in the old part of Union Market and at The Italian Store in Arlington. Anyone else know or have good guesses?

11 Comment

  • What you’re looking for is called sfingi. I’ve never seen it around these parts, but always managed to find it when I was living in Brooklyn.

  • Vace’s on Conn Ave in Cleveland Park is another I would try.

  • I don’t know anywhere in DC now that the Vaccaro’s in Union Station is closed, but if this really means a lot to you, you might want to call the Vacarros in Baltimore, or Piedigrotta — also in Baltimore. There are likely lots of other Baltimore options as well.

  • binpetworth

    How have I been on this planet 40 years and not discovered there was a holiday centered on cream-filled pastries?!

  • Piggybacking on this question, does anyone know where to get good English style hot cross buns? Not that icky stuff they sell at Giant with weird frosting and candied bits in it?

  • Growing up in Rhode Island, we always called these zeppole, rather than sfingi (even wikipedia says both work). I’m fairly certain the Italian Store usually has them.

  • The Italian Gourmet in Vienna has them, but calls them zeppoles which is not accurate where I come from.

  • To me, it’s the filling that turns a zeppole into sfingi

  • I was in Philly this weekend and had this pastry at the Reading Terminal Market The pastry was called Zeppoi and I bought it from an Italian bakery. It’s cool to learn that the pastry is associated with a religious holiday.

  • Litteris doesn’t have fresh pastry and Catania bakery on north cap only does bread during the week and croissants on the weekend, so a Piedigrotta in B-more is your best bet. There’s not even a decent italian bakery in silver spring/Wheaton anymore where you could go.

  • Actually making cream puff type treats yourself is surprisingly easy and fun. You melt butter & water in a pot, then dump in flour and beat it with a wooden spoon, then beat in a couple of eggs – check online for Choux pastry.

Comments are closed.