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Saint Joseph's Day Sicilian Tradition - Sfingi

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One of the earliest memories I have is that of growing up in a second generation Sicilian-American, Catholic family and celebrating the Feast of Saint Joseph.  My dad, along with his brothers and older sisters would gather together every March 19th to make a traditional treat known as Sfingi Di San Giuseppe.  The recipes for these round, deep-fried pastries have many variations – some use ricotta cheese in the batter, others use it in a cannoli-type filling.  Other recipes may not use ricotta cheese at all.  Some will use yeast, some will not.  The batter is dropped in the hot oil by the spoonful and cooked until golden brown.  Sfingi is sprinkled with powdered-sugar and, if desired, drizzled with honey.

Sharing this tradition together was always a special time for my dad, aunts and uncles.  Saint Joseph is the patron saint families and so it was very fitting that they celebrated together on his feast day.  And, as is customary in any Sicilian household, we celebrate by…..eating!

You can easily make Sfingi using any number of recipes.

One of my favorites can be found by clicking here: Sfingi Recipe.  Doing a quick web search will find many other variations.  Try it, you’ll like it!  And let me know if you try it and let me know how you and your family liked it.  Drop me an e-mail at phil@holyfamilystore.com with your favorite recipe and picture of your creation and perhaps I will feature some of your pictures.  Feel free to share other traditions as they relate to the Saints and the Church.

Mangia! Mangia!


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Holy Family Books & Gifts, Religious Goods, Sandusky, OH