Saint Joseph

In Catania, as in all of Italy, on March 19 St. Joseph is celebrated combined with Father’s Day and, as is tradition everywhere, each Italian region has its own culinary specialties.

Here, for San Giuseppe, we eat “crespelle di riso” or zeppole, an ancient recipe from the cuisine of the Benedictine monastery.

An exquisite dessert made of rice cooked in milk and cinnamon, then shaped into sticks and fried to be finally drizzled with honey. In Messina these crepes are covered with powdered sugar instead of honey.

A dessert that you will find everywhere, in pastry shops, bars, bakeries, just look around and taste this Sicilian delight.

le crespelle di riso

If, on the other hand, you move away from Catania and go to the neighboring villages, you will find another tradition that is still alive in Sicily: the tables of San Giuseppe. Here’s what it is and where you can see it:

The tables of San Giuseppe, in Sicilian called: “Tavuli ‘ri’ San Giuseppi”, are prepared in the homes of the devotees who throughout the day will remain open to the public. This custom thus recalls the Holy Family and the spirit of Christian charity towards the poorest.

Tradition is that these tables are attended by people representing the figures of the Holy Family. In the center sit St. Joseph, the Child Jesus and the Madonna accompanied by St. Joachim and St. Anne

To see some of these tables you can go to Aidone, Morgantina and Piazza Armerina where among other things you could take advantage of a splendid visit to the archaeological site of Morgantina, the museum of Aidone and to conclude, the wonderful Roman villa of Casale (

An unforgettable day.

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