Pizza dough and zeppole -- 03/27/11
Well, what this entry is about (or, at least, the inspiration for it) is responding to questions asked in the comments made about yesterday's entry. Sometimes I answer questions in the comments and then I wonder if anyone other than two or three people will be aware of that answer.
So today I thought I would answer in this entry...
Pizza dough: Having put in a few years cooking in pizzerias, Jeremy can make his own (very good) pizza dough, but he usually buys it from a pizzeria. He says many pizzerias will sell their dough. He has a couple of local places that he thinks make a good dough, so when he wants to make pizza at home he just stops at one of them and buys a bag of dough. He describes it as a win-win situation: he gets good dough for an inexpensive price and saves the trouble of mixing it up and the restaurant makes a nice little profit selling something that they mix up in huge batches anyway.
Zeppole: I only snapped a couple of shots of those first three that Jill made. (She did post a cell phone photo on Facebook of a whole plateful.) The question was raised as to just what is a zeppole. Well, it's an Italian pastry but, as in so many cases, what exactly goes into it depends on what particular area your grandparends came from. (Or, since in our case, we have no Italian ancestory, what recipe Jill looked up and thought sounded interesting.) In general, they are sort of like a filled pastry with more stuff on top. The base is deep fried (although, in this case, we do not have a deep fryer so Jill used a skillet and she did not have the oil that deep so she had to keep turning them so they would brown evenly. They can be filled with custard or jelly or the same kind of filling as is used in cannoli.
They are traditionally associated with St. Joseph's day -- La Festa di San Giuseppe. As I noted yesterday, since that day is March 19th and it falls just two days after St. Patrick's Day, it is popular in places (such as Rhode Island) that have significant numbers of people of Italian ancestory. (Rhode Island has significant Italian and Irish and Portuguese and French Canadian and Cape Verdian, etc. populations.) The quahog.org website has an interesting article about zeppole and Rhode Island, including discussion of various flavors of fillings, etc.
Oh, and "breakfast sizzle" too : In response to Dick's question about where I ran a 5K race in Australia. It was in Roseville, a suburb of Syndey. I wrote about it in this entry.