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pastries for St Joe

Sfince di San Giuseppe ad Alcamo Marina (produzione: Bar Paziente)

St Joseph’s Day (March 19) in Sicily is celetrated with Sfince di San Giuseppe or Spincia ri San Giuseppi or sometimes spingia are a soft sponge-like pastry, deep fried and filled with ricotta cream, chocolate bits, pistachios, and candied fruit etc, and usually topped with a candied orange zest.

Sfincie di Saint Joseph

They were invented, or perfected by nuns at the Stigmata de San Franceso convent, inspired by a recipe left by the Arabs in Sicily. In Palermo someone who is gentle and easily pliable is said to be moddu comu na’ sfincia ('as soft as a sfincia').

Designagted PAT (Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale)

Sfincia de Priescia

The Sfincia de Priescia made in Montelepre are different—and much simpler, a doughnut made into strips shaped like a script lower case E, and doused in honey and cinnamon. They are often made during the Christmas season and are celebrated in a Sagra on 6 January.

Desserts and pastries

DOP (PDO) products and acronyms

Food Festivals


Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by bimby, Daniele Pugliesi, GiulioLombardo92