In Italy Father’s Day is celebrated in March rather than June. Observing the Feast of San Giuseppe (St. Joseph) on March 19th Italians celebrate sainthood and fatherhood with a larger than life Italian doughnut-like pastry known as the zeppole. Regional designations include the fritelle, sfinci or bignè and are generally variations of a fried sweet eggy batter filled with custard, jelly or a cannoli-style pastry cream. Every family has their one and only favorite recipe for this gigantic cream puff said to have originated on the island of Malta.
Zeppole were popularized in Sicily during the Middle Ages when after a severe drought the people prayed to St. Joseph to bring rain and he complied. Apparently there was only one catch – prepare huge quantities of zeppole every year on my feast day and Italians have been licking their fingers ever since.