San Gennaro Festival

The San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy, New York, started on Sept. 15 and runs through this Sunday, Sept. 25.  The festival celebrating the patron saint of Naples, Italy, is in its 85th year.  Monday, September 19th was the feast day of San Gennaro.  I attended Mass at the Most Precious Blood Church, and then I watched the religious procession down Mulberry Street.  I also pinned a dollar on the statue of the saint.  This festival is near and dear to me, as both my parents’ families settled on Mulberry Street when they arrived from the Naples area.

One of the big draws of the festival is the food.  The traditional and popular sausage and peppers, fried calamari, raw clams, torrone, cannoli, and zeppole are all available as well as typical fair food.

The famous Ferrara Bakery has a stand in addition to its store with Italian pastries and gelato.  They also have struffoli, which I thought was weird since it’s usually a seasonal treat.  Restaurants up and down Mulberry Street have outdoor patios in the street for al fresco dining.  I like the romantic allure of eating at one, but I’m suspect of how good they are.  I did get out-of-this-world pizza the real way at Lombardi’s on Spring Street.  Lombardi’s, the first pizzeria in the U.S., opened in 1897.

Lombardi’s pizza

There were some new takes on the old like Stuffed Artisan Cannolis in flavors like strawberry and birthday cake.

stuffed artisan cannolis

I did see that The Breslin had a stand, but I wasn’t sure what they were serving.  There was also a stand with Southern style desserts, so the North Carolinian in me got some sweet potato pie.

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