Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Led zeppole

This past Saturday, Blognut had the pleasure of attending Verplanck, New York's Italian Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Essentially a county fair with more gold chains and no farm animals, the Feast brings together thousands of Italian Americans to ride Ferris wheels, carouse with friends and family, and drink Budweisers two at a time out of plastic cups. While we did find ourselves enjoying all that the Feast had to offer ($15 and 8 out of 9 popped balloons won us a stuffed, yellow cat made out of a radioactive plastic material), our true intentions were clear – we must find a zeppola (plural: zeppole).

Wikipedia defines Zeppole (also called St. Joseph's Day Cakes) as "a form of light, deep-fried doughnuts in Neapolitan Italian cuisine – slightly larger than doughnut holes, and topped with powdered sugar or filled with custard, jelly, or cannoli filling, traditionally served on St. Joseph's Day (March 19). Blognut defines zeppole as "fried balls of dough."

Soon after arriving, we found ourselves in line at Gu-Ma's Zeppoles (Mrs. Blognut, a longtime attendee of the Feast, said they were the best). Gu-Ma's consisted of a tiny trailer housing three apathetic teenagers and a gigantic vat of boiling oil. We ordered an overpriced bag of zeppole (eight for $5) which were scooped fresh out of said oil, shoved into a paper bag and doused with what must have been 2 full cups of powdered sugar. And rightly so, because just like their tangled brethren the funnel cake, zeppole can taste pretty bland on their own. But even mass-amounts of sugar couldn't save these Nuts from falling victim to overwhelming mediocrity. Offering nothing more than plain fried-dough taste highlighted by the moderate sweetness of sticky, clumpy powdered sugar (half of which ended up on our shirt), Gu-Ma's zeppole helped Blognut once again come to the conclusion that international Nuts just don't stand up to their ever-so-delicious North American counterparts. Not to mention they burned the roof of our mouth.

For a photo recap of the Italian Feast check out Clean Plate Club.

And lastly an aside: Blognut would like to propose to all free-thinking doughnut makers (Voodoo and Doughnut Plant, this means you) a new variety of Italian doughnut called "Led Zeppole," that are elongated in shape, frosted with a Union Jack and rock harder than traditional zeppole.


Toonis said...

That is a good looking yellow cat. What.

grumpygirl said...

just not what it was like when we were little.

Mt. Carmel said...

It is disheartening and truly disturbing that in what seems to be an aimless and useless quest to provide the world with your opinion on doughnuts, you have taken aim at a long-standing tradition in our community. So many of our community members work so hard all year long to provide the county with a positive event that centers around family, tradition, friendship and celebration. The picture of the "Italian women selling wine from a tap" is a photo of our mothers, sisters and friends. If you can not appreciate what the festival of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel stands for, go somewhere else to eat your doughnuts.

Anonymous said...

Well stated, Mt Carmel!

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