In Italy, Father’s Day is celebrated several months earlier than in America. Papa is honored on the Feast Day of Saint Joseph, which falls on the 19th of March. Families prepare traditional meals and, of course, cookies!
Here are some delicious and delightful Father’s Day gift suggestions with an Italian twist.
Our family Father’s Day tradition is to give Papa a delicious start to his day. That leaves the afternoon free for him to play games with the children and grandchildren, go for a walk, watch baseball or take a nap!
Here are a couple of simple, healthy and flavorful recipes that are idea for brunch:
Don’t forget the coffee! We’ve been enjoying Sightglass Coffee, roasted in San Francisco.
For dessert, our Ricciarelli cookies are naturally gluten-free and come in both chocolate and orange/almond flavors.
A nature hike
After a long winter, June is a perfect time to get outside. If your father enjoys rambling, find a nearby trail, prepare some sandwiches and pack a field guide so that you can identify animal tracks and birds along the way. It will create memories for you and him.
For lunch on the trail, we’ve had our eye on the John Oliver Sandwich from Penelope Cafe in New York. It combines goat cheese with an olive tapenade on a cranberry walnut bread. It’s hearty, sweet, nutty, briny and creamy all at once and perfect for the trail.
Simply toast a couple of slices of Cranberry Walnut bread, spread goat cheese on one piece, olive tapenade on the other and sandwich them together.
Here’s an Italian Cranberry Walnut Bread recipe from the good folks at Italian Food Forever. For gluten-free Dads, check out the Crusty Boule recipe on Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef and make the following substitutions:
- Use 1.5 cups dried cranberries and 1.5 cups dried walnuts instead of the olives.
- Use zest from 1 orange rather than rosemary.
Apricots are in season and would be a nice complement. Don’t forget to pack some bandanas or cotton napkins and some water.
A bottle of Grappa and a red rose
A red rose is the traditional flower of Father’s Day and grappa is a uniquely Italian digestif. Since the Middle Ages, this unaged brandy has been hailed as a cure for almost everything. Italian men traditionally drank it in osterias, communal man caves, where they gathered to chat, play cards, smoke, snack and the like.
Made from the grape byproducts of wine-making, Grappa is a fiery way to end a meal, drunk either as a shot on its own or added to an espresso (in which case it’s known in Italy as a caffè coretto, or a “corrected coffee”).
The best grappa comes from the Friuli, Trentino and Veneto regions—all near the Austrian border. Expect to spend $50 or more for a good bottle.
Bocce is an ancient game that was embraced by the Roman Empire and enjoyed by nobility and peasants alike. Traditionally, Italian men of all ages play bocce informally in the village and cafe. Bocce clubs and courts can be found in most American cities with an Italian immigrant population.
But you can also play on Papa’s lawn. Playboule has a bocce set on sale for Father’s Day.
A box of cookies just for Papa
Papa is always on hand to dispense sweetness to his children. He deserves a box of sweetness all his own. We’ve created two Father’s Day cookie assortments (gluten-free and regular) that feature some of our most popular and favorites. Wedding cookies, nonna, biscotti, ricciarelli, polentine: they are all there.