I love March for many reasons. I have an excuse to drink my face off (not that I really need a reason) on St. Patrick’s Day and I get to celebrate St. Joseph’s Day by stuffing my face full of pastry. I’m talking about zeppole. While they are all pretty much made the same – a light and airy circular pastry filled with a cream, custard or pudding in the center topped with whipped cream or more filling – bakeries have their loyal customers return year after year for their favorites. We put a few of those to the test.
Ireland Meets Italy
LaSalle Bakery’s idea of putting Irish Cream into the creamy filling of a zeppole is indeed a fantastic one. You get all the flavor and aroma of Irish Cream while maintaining the integrity of a traditional zeppole. The pastry is soft, almost donut-like, and the filling is not overly sweet. It’s a nice twist on the classic. 993 Smith Street. 831-9563. 685 Admiral Street. 228-0081.
The zeppole from Zaccagnini’s Pastry Shoppe stood out with their fresh whipped cream neatly piped on top of the airy pastry shell. We also could have sworn there was just a touch of lemon in the filling, which had a nice texture – not too thick and not too runny. 546 Smithfield Avenue, Pawtucket. 723-2699
Tiny and Tempting
This little zeppole from Buono’s Bakery fits in the palm of your hand and is the perfect treat for one. The pastry is chewy and complements the thick custard. To top it off, it’s ever so lightly sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar: not a bad touch. 559 Hartford Avenue. 421-455
A Sweet Classic
One glance at this Palmieri’s Bakery zeppole and I just knew we were in good hands. The pastry had a nice soft crust on the outside while maintaining a chewy interior. The filling was not overly sweet and had a nice vanilla aroma. A little confectioner’s sugar sprinkling over the top didn’t hurt either. 147 Ridge Street. 831-9145