Photo cred - gourmettraveller.com.au
Also known as ‘Bignè di San Giuseppe’ they are a deep-fried dough ball filled either with ricotta, custard or pastry cream and topped with icing sugar. Need I say more? If you are a zeppole virgin, I recommend opting for the ones bursting with ricotta. Even with the price ranging from $2.50 – $3.00 each, people are buying them by the dozen.
So instead of looking forward to Cadbury Easter Eggs, chocolate bunnies, or marshmallow eggs, why not raise the bar a little this Easter and thrill your palate with these heavenly balls of dough.
Move over cannoli, take a seat panettone, see ya later tiramisu – March is here and so is the Zeppole!
Photo cred - sanmarcocakes.com
1. PATISSERIE SAN MARCO
San Marco’s Bakery is, in most Montreal-Italian’s opinions, Montreal’s best Italian bakery and pastry shop. No kidding. My cousin Guido, his friend Johnny, his neighbour Mary, and her boyfriend Vinnie would all agree. San Marco’s bakery, an elegant pastry shop that has been in operation for over 52 years, offers a welcome taste of southern Italian cuisine and culture. I actually dropped by San Marco’s yesterday with the intention of buying 2 zeppoles for an after-dinner dessert and wound up leaving with a dozen ricotta-filled morsels of joy. They are simply incredible ricotta-filled morsels of heaven.
2. PATISSERIE ALATI
Located in the heart of Little Italy, this pastry shop is the original Alati bakery dating back to 1952. This place is the real deal in terms of an Italian experience. I am certain that the women who work there are either from the old country or first generation Italian-Canadians. At the Alati bakery they carry two types of zeppoles: the traditional fried dough zeppoles and the baked ones, which have a slightly different shape. When in doubt, I recommend always trying both! Both the traditional and oven baked zeppoles come in a variety of cream fillings.
Just note that Alati’s is cash only, so make sure you have enough on you for a few purchases when you go.
3. LA CORNETTERIA
You've probably walked by this quaint pastry shop a hundred times without actually ever noticing it, unless of course, you happened to be walking by while they were baking. Located in Little Italy, on a relatively under-developed section of St Laurent La Cornetteria offers lavish traditional Italian desserts. Their desserts are exquisite and their zeppoles are second to none. La Cornetteria’s zeppoles are filled either with cannoli-style ricotta, lemon-vanilla custard, and hazelnut or pistachio cream. Be sure to get some while you can, because they are so worth it.
And in addition to all these delicious goodies, La Cornetteria also delivers! Just another reason to fall in love with this place – the possibility of enjoying their desserts without ever having to take off your onesie!
4. PATISSERIE ST MARTIN
I’ve rubbernecked this place a bunch of times while driving to my parent’s house in Laval before finally deciding to stop and try it. Once I did, I realized that I had a brand new reason to come and visit my parents on the weekend. I love you Ma! Patisserie St Martin is one of Laval's best offerings. They have been in business for over 25 years and are considered the preferred location for gourmet and food lovers in the ‘450’ area code. The zeppoles at Patisserie St Martin are extremely light and freshly made, as they should be. I would just like to say that Laval has upped the bar on the zeppole.
5. DOLCI PIU
Patisserie Dolci Piu has become Montreal’s go-to haven for satisfying all your sweet cravings. They have two types available: one with ricotta and chocolate chips, and one for those who want something lighter with a mix of whipped cream and custard. Available until Easter, you have plenty of time to visit again and again and again.