In Italy, every town has a patron saint that is celebrated by an event known as a festa. These events host pious celebrations, including a mass venerating the patron saint and a procession through the town carrying a statue of him or her. Along with these reverent events are other activities, including things like flag tossing, musical shows, and of course, lots of food vendors. New York Italians carry on this tradition with feasts like the San Gennaro Festival in early September, where one of the featured food items is zeppole (think donut hole with powdered sugar). And Portland has had its own festa since 1990 on the last weekend of August in Pioneer Courthouse Square. As a prelude to our Portland Festa, this Saturday, July 29, we will have a pop-up Zeppole Day at The Arrow Coffeehouse, 10 am-noon, serving the iconic treat of the feast of San Gennaro. Zeppole Day was a tradition at my bakery every last Saturday of the month. My customers loved them and savored the special time by bringing friends to join them at our mini-festa. It was always a special event. Hope to see you and your friends.
For this week’s biscotti box we have chunky almond biscotti dunked in dark chocolate, Della Nonna sesame seed cookies, and Zaletti cornmeal currant cookies. And for a tart, it’s tender Sfogliatelle. This is a different version of the pastry offered last week. Instead of the crunchy, scallop-shaped pastry, the tender Sfogliatelle are basically a hand tart with thick ricotta custard filling. It is flavored with candied orange and vanilla just like the crunchy ones.