The Feast of Saint Joseph
March 16th - 19th
To celebrate St. Joseph's Day, we will be offering a traditional Sicilian three-course feast for the weekend of March 16th-19th.
Insalata di San Giuseppe
shaved fennel, Sicilian olives, fresh orange
Pasta con Sarde
house made bucatini pasta, fennel, sardines, raisins, pignoli, tomato,breadcrumbs
deconstructed pastry with pastry cream, caramel
$48 for the three-course feast and wine.
A note from Victor Rallo Jr.
My Father loved this day and would always cook a feast for family and friends. I grew up eating pasta con sarde and the traditional zeppole pastry on St. Joseph’s day. After my father passed away in 2002, I promised to keep the tradition alive, please join us and enjoy this special occasion at our tavola di San Giuseppe
Customs of the Day
St. Joseph's Day is a big Feast for Italians because in the Middle Ages, God, through St. Joseph's intercessions, saved the Sicilians from a very serious drought. So in his honor, the custom is for all to wear red, in the same way that green is worn on St. Patrick's Day.
Today, after Mass - in parishes with large Italian populations, a big altar ("la tavola di San Giuseppe" or "St. Joseph's Table") is laden with food contributed by everyone. Different Italian regions celebrate this day differently, but all involve special meatless foods: minestrone, pasta with breadcrumbs (the breadcrumbs symbolize the sawdust that would have covered St. Joseph's floor), seafood, Sfinge di San Giuseppe, and, always, fava beans, which are considered "lucky" because during the drought, the fava thrived while other crops failed .
The table - will be in three tiers, symbolizing the Holy Trinity. The top tier will hold a statue of St. Joseph surrounded by flowers and greenery. The other tiers might hold, in addition to the food: flowers (especially lilies); candles; figurines and symbolic breads and pastries, and pictures of the dead. There will also be a basket in which the faithful place prayer petitions.
The cry "Viva la Tavola di San Giuseppe!" begins the feasting and is heard throughout the day. When the eating is done, the St. Joseph's altar is smashed, and then three children dressed as the Holy Family will knock on three doors, asking for shelter. They will be refused at the first two, and welcomed at the third, in memory of the Holy Family's seeking of hospitality just before Christ was born. This re-enactment is called "Tupa Tupa," meaning "Knock Knock."
The day ends with each participant taking home a bag that might be filled with bread, fruit, pastries, cookies, a medal of St. Joseph, a Holy Card and/or a blessed fava bean. Keep your "lucky bean," and let it remind you to pray to St. Joseph.