Monday, June 11, 2007

zeppole like air puffs (Restaurant: Shaun's)

Before Shaun's version, I've only had zeppole at Italian street fairs and homey pizza joints. They were never very bad. Deep-fried dough balls have a tendency to please when they are hot from the cauldron. At the same time, I've never had incredible zeppole. The kind that would wake me in the middle of the night with a deep craving. That is, until Shaun Doty put his brown paper bagful of treasures in front of me.

The look of Shaun's zeppole is not much different from the street version. But as soon as I picked one up, I could feel the difference. The little dough ball was much lighter in weight than its size would suggest. The golden shell gave a bit in the way that a french macaron does when it encounters a less than delicate hand. One pop in the mouth, my eyes went wide. These are not any zeppole I've ever had, the little air puffs dissolved on my tongue leaving behind no trace of grease. There was hardly any chewing involved. The air puffs simply disintegrated like little sighs, releasing the most pleasant fried flavor. They made me sorry that the little brown paper bag was not a little bigger.

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