Altar Eating

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Those in the know will soon start looking in the classified section for discreet, only-in-New Orleans ads for St. Joseph's altars, like the one pictured above. These decorative, devotional feast displays are traditionally constructed in the homes of the area's faithful Italian-American Roman Catholics, who frequently invite the public to sample from them.

For a primer on the tradition, and a taste of its offerings, check out this event on Sunday, March 2, from Slow Food NOLA and the Savvy Gourmet.

The food advocacy group is presenting a celebration of the St. Joseph's altar at the Uptown gourmet emporium with local food guru Poppy Tooker and Arthur Brocato, proprietor of the incomparable Angelo Brocato's Ice Cream.

Brocato will explain the significance of the altars and prepare three of the sweet treats typically found on them, including biscotti regina, or sesame seed cookies; cucidati, or fig cookies; and anise biscotti.

In addition, Tooker will prepare pasta Milanese, a traditional entrée on St. Joseph’s altars.

The event is from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and there will be a cash bar. Call Savvy at 895-COOK (2665) to reserve a spot.

- Ian McNulty

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