For non-Sicilians, like myself, you may be wondering what exactly are Sfinci di San Giuseppe? The way Maria, Nina, and Domenic make them, Sfinci are amazing creamy puffs, fried to golden-brown perfection, and filled with Caffe Sicilia’s heavenly light and fluffy sweetened ricotta, or the same ricotta, with mini-chocolate chips added.
Inside the beautiful box of Zepplole that Maria sent me home with after filming, were two Sfinci’s made moments earlier, fillled with ricotta, and garnished with candied orange peel and cherry. I hope my husband and son never read this post because after eating the first Sfinci di San Giuseppe, I was utterly rude and ate the second (although managing to save them each a Zeppole)!
Sfinci have been a part of Sicilian cuisine for centuries. Traditionally they were served for dessert on Saint Joseph’s Day. Today they are a specialty of Palermo and are served all year round. Both Maria’s parents, Nina and Domenic Damico, were born outside of Palermo and spent their early childhoods there. I imagine that is one reason why the family knows how to create this sumptuously yummy treat!!! Sfinci is a wonderfully fun word to say and is pronounced something like this: sah-fin-chee, only you say the sah-fin syllables very quickly together.
Caffe Sicilia’s Sfinci di San Giuseppe are available, as are their Zeppole, through Easter. Because their Sfinci fly out the door as quickly as their Zeppole, place your orders for both ahead of time and call (978) 283-2345.