Saint Joseph's Day recipes are prepared to mark Saint Joseph's Day, also known as Feast of St. Joseph or Solemnity of Saint Joseph. The day is mostly celebrated on March 19 across the Western world and it is the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In a few Catholic countries, the day is celebrated as Father's Day. The Saint's day is celebrated on the Sunday after Christmas by the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Traditional Saint Joseph's Day Food Menu
As Saint Joseph's Day is essentially a feast day, the food prepared is lavish and on a very grand scale. The occasion is essentially an Italian one and it is celebrated in Italy on a very large scale. Enormous buffets are created with traditional dishes like decorative breads, spring vegetable frittatas, minestrone, pastas, pastries and calamari, to name a few. The most important preparation of the day is the special sweets that are made. The names and shapes of these hot delicacies differ from one region to another; mostly however, these sweets are referred to as zeppole or frittelle. The sweets can be made from flour or rice and can be baked or fried.
One feature of the lavish Saint Joseph's Day preparations is that the dishes are always meatless and fish and other seafood are commonly prepared.
Significance of Saint Joseph's Day Dishes
Saint Joseph's Day recipes are prepared as a tribute to Saint Joseph.There seems to be no specific reason as to why some particular dishes have managed to become a part of an ages old tradition. As the day is a ‘feast’ the preparations are all grand and lavish.
Modern Saint Joseph’s Day Recipes and their Variations
The traditional food items prepared to mark the day have managed to remain the same over the years. The special sweets and breads are still the same, although the ingredients are sometimes substituted for healthier versions.
Customary Ways to Serve and Eat Saint Joseph’s Day Food
The dishes prepared on the occasion are laid on a table which is always first blessed by a priest. The table is in three tiers, which is a symbol of the Most Holy Trinity. The top tier has a statue of St. Joseph and it is surrounded by flowers and greenery. The other tiers hold the food, flowers, candles, breads, pastries, wine and lemons.
The feast is enoyed after the Mass and begun after the cry 'Viva la tavola di San Giuse'. After the feast, alter of St. Joseph is smashed and the leftover food is donated and shared with the poor. The Saint Joseph’s Day recipes are mostly followed at homes and enjoyed together by family and friends.