When I went into the Bakehouse on a recent Sunday morning and looked around, my eyes landed on one of the joy-generators we make. Ricotta Doughnuts. Seriously. Delicious. Delightful. A handful of joy that can quickly brighten my day and maybe yours as well. When you get that bite with sweetened vanilla-scented ricotta, you find joy with a capital J!
If you like, you can gild the ricotta doughnut lily by simply adding a spoonful of the jam or honey of your choosing inside. I keep thinking of the American Spoon Rhubarb Marmalade I wrote up a few months ago. An orange marmalade might be marvelous. Or the American Spoon Early Glow Strawberry that they’re probably cooking in those copper kettles up in Petoskey right now.
The Italian name for these doughnuts would be Castagnole di ricotta. They’re most typical at Carnivale in the winter, but in the spirit of making life more joyful all year long, I like that we offer them every Sunday.
In Italy they’re particularly popular in the region of Emilia-Romana, one of the best eating parts of a country that we all know, knows how to eat really well. Italian food writer Ada Boni was a big proponent of the ricotta doughnuts. Emiko, writing on Food52, says, “In 1929, the year the original The Talisman Italian Cookbook (or Il Talismano della Felicità in Italian) was published, it was considered the book for the ‘modern woman,’ the book to give to all brides for their wedding.” Boni’s Italian Regional Cooking, which came out in her later years, in 1969, was one of the first cookbooks I ever bought. Her approach to food and cooking nicely sums up what we work hard, if ever imperfectly, to do here at Zingerman’s:
“There can be no true happiness if such an essential part of our daily lives as eating is neglected. Cooking is the most gay of arts and the most pleasant of sciences.”
And these delicious ricotta doughnuts from the Bakehouse make all that come true.
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- Pick up one of these joy generators at the Bakehouse on Sunday mornings.