Anyone who has ever come to the North End know that when the holidays come around, be it Christmas, Easter or any Church holy day. The shops come alive with bright colors and other feasts for the eyes. Nowhere is this truer than at Maria’s. The following are just a sample of the many wonders you will find during those special times of the year in addition to our other delectable marvels.
All Souls Day (November 2nd), Ossa di Morti – “Bones of the dead.” A hard chewy cookie with a slight cinnamon flavoring and a crisp meringue puff on top.
Thanksgiving, Pies, pies pies! – Like every good Italian in America, Maria’s celebrates this festival of plenty with an array of great tasting pies to fill your dessert table including Apple, Pumpkin, Mince, Custard Cream, Blueberry and of course everybody’s favorite, RICOTTA! (Sweet Italian cheese cake made with ricotta cheese in a soft crust, yummm!)
Christmas, Panettone — An Italian Version of the American fruit cake, rest assured, this won’t last long. A very tasty, not too sweet coffee cake with pieces of candied fruit are a great way to start the day or end any special meal. Maria caries both homemade and imported from Italy. Also, Mustaccioti—Like the Totos, this is an all spice cookie, diamond shaped with chocolate frosting. They are made either with plain or filled with fig, walnuts and citrus fruit.
Ash Wednesday, Pignolata — A soft fried egg dough frosted with either chocolate or vanilla frosting.
Saint Joseph Day (March 19th), Zeppole — Beginning the end of January, Maria prepares this Sicilan speciality known as the “Zeppola di San Giuseppe.” A light egg dough fried to a soft shell filled wioth either ricotta cheese, whipped cream or the traditional filling of vanilla custard cream and amaretta cherries. You won’t be able to get enough, but beware. Once March 19th, passes…they’re gone!
Easter, Pizza ‘Chiena’— or “Rustica” as some may know it is not a sweet but practically an entire meal, minus the dessert. This salty pie is made of a light flaky crust filled with ricotta and parmesan cheese along with an array of cold cuts including prosciutto, ham, and salami. It doesn’t get any tastier than this. Colomba—The Easter Dove is as beautiful as it is delicious. Similar to the Christmas panettone, this dove shaped sweet cake is ideal for either breakfast or dessert. Topped with sliced almonds and powdered sugar with a soft bready inside containing candied fruit, you’ll know it’s the holidays. Maria carries both homemade and those imported from Italy. Other Easter Favorites are Wheat or Rice Pies an old Italian tradition has made its place in the most American environments. A traditional ricotta pie mixed with either rice or wheat is typical for an Easter dinner. Then there’s Egg Bread — Not exactly what you may think, this slightly sweet egg bread is also topped with a hard boiled egg and glazed. This is a complete breakfast. You’ll enjoy every sweet bite. Another great Easter special is the Marzipan Lamb, a beautiful centerpiece making an even better dessert with delicious marzipan inside, with a hard sugar shell and decorated with candy and chocolates. Hard to resist.
** Maria also imports beautifully wrapped chocolate Easter eggs from Italy, all of which contain a surprise inside **
Special holidays, Strufoli, small round fried dough balls drizzled with honey and colorful sprinkles.
Crispelle – an Egg dough pastry shaped like a rosette deep fried with honey and mixed nuts.
Guandi – Fried egg dough pastry shaped like a glove topped with powdered sugar.
Torrone – A homemade soft and chewy nougat candy mixed with almonds. Also comes in a chocolate nougat version.
Marzapan – Typically Sicilian, this soft almond paste and sugar candy not only beautifully decorates any dish with its hand made fruit shapes, but tastes even better than it looks.
We also imports fine chocolates and candies from Italy and sell Pizzelle in Anise, Chocolate, Vanilla, Almond and Lemon.