Staten Island is and pretty much always has been a mostly Italian borough. The Italian citizens of Staten Island, like Frank Camuso, have deep roots within the borough. With some families going back generations on the island. With such a celebrated Italian heritage, it’s no wonder that Staten Island has become an epicenter for the celebration of relatively unknown, mostly catholic, holidays, like St. Joe’s Day. St. Joseph’s day is steeped in tradition for Italians like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine, with offerings of good food, family camaraderie, and overall good times.
St Jospeh’s Day is celebrated Monday, March 19th, and is honoring Jospeh, or Giuseppe, who, in the bible was the father of Jesus Christ and husband to the Virgin Mary. Joseph was revered in the city of Sicily during the time of a great drought in the middle ages. As the story goes, Sicilian peasants, prayed to God through St. Joseph, asking for rain to help crops and saving the people. When the drought ended they celebrated God and St. Joseph with a feast, thus the annual feast. As you’d guess, for Italians like Frank Camuso, authentic Sicilian food has a huge part to play. Some legends even say that if you are ever looking to sell your house, then burying s St. Joseph statue in the yard will help make the sale go through much quicker.
One of the biggest attractions for the feast begin with the “Feast of San Guiseppe Cooking Shows” this year, scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, Wednesday, March 14 and Tuesday March 20 from 6 to 10 p.m. ato Trattoria — 1476 Hylan Blvd (reservations required). We asked Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso, their favorite food items for the feast, and most answered immediately with zeppoles, one of the most famous Italian pastries, made with custard filled fried dough. Frank Camuso also mentioned that its imperative that you make sure to save room for desert, with the parade of food that will undoubtedly be served throughout the day, desert is one of the highlights. Besides the pastries St. Joe’s Day is also known for its amazing breads, Fava Beans (symbolizing prosperity), Pasta Con Sarde, and a host of other southern Italian dishes.