Springtime means St. Joseph’s Day zeppole, the classic Italian treat. Not to be confused with donuts, Zeppole di San Giuseppe are often made using fried dough, but that’s where the similarities end. A traditional Rhode Island variety marries light and crispy pâte à choux-style dough with sweet cream filling, and is topped off with more cream, powdered sugar, and a cherry. I can’t think of a better place to indulge cravings for them than DeLuise Bakery on Chalkstone Avenue in Providence, the family-owned bake shop that opened back in 1938.
Flash forward to now, with the third-generation grandson of the original owner at the helm, this Italian bakery is still serving up phenomenal Italian bread, pizza, and sweets, including those much-anticipated cream-filled (and cherry-topped) pastries. Now, DeLuise actually has traditional zeppole available all year round, and you’ll be pleased to know they still cook their from-scratch cream filling on a stovetop, just like it was done back in the day. Some might call it old school – I call it superb!
March brings the return of their delectable minis (you can get them baked or fried) and their wildly popular (not to mention pretty) chocolate version, which people can’t seem to get enough of. They’ll even make zeppole with a whipped cream filling if you call in a special order. Speaking of which, if you want to be assured of getting your hands on a dozen or three, you will want to order ahead.