Where to buy maritozzi in South Jersey

Maritozzi Mania has officially begun in South Jersey – where to find maritozzi!

A few months ago, I had never even heard of maritozzi or maritozzo – but thanks to the South Jersey Food Scene group, people are going crazy over this delectable Roman delight. It is literally stirring up a frenzy in South Jersey, which is only increasing as more bakeries add it to their repertoire.

More about that in a bit. 


But first, what is maritozzi? While there are various ways to describe it, and several varieties of maritozzi exist, the primary explanation is as follows:

Maritozzi, or Italian sweet cream buns, originated from Rome. The sweet buns are traditionally made from enriched (yeast) dough flavored with orange zest and vanilla and filled with whipped cream. Sometimes, the buns have raisins or other flavorings, but the traditional ones are extra large, fluffy buns stuffed with custard or jam and light and airy whipped cream.

The story of Maritozzo, or maritozzi.

One common story about the history of maritozzo is that men would present the bun (with a ring hidden inside) to their love. Another tale says women baked and gifted the maritozzo to their potential marital matches, hence the name “maritozzo,” derived from “marito,” or the Italian word for husband.

Another historical aspect to note is that maritozzi were the only sweet treat sanctioned to be served during Lent, while all other sweets were banned. This historical tradition adds to the significance of maritozzi in Italian culinary culture, particularly during the Lenten season.

Any way you look at it, the Italian love affair with maritozzi has crossed the ocean and firmly planted itself in South Jersey and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon!

While it’s up for debate who started making them first in South Jersey, they genuinely took off when Dan and Russel Hover, husband and wife owners of Dan’s Waffles of Pennsauken, began offering three varieties of them as a Valentine’s Day special. People immediately became intrigued once someone shared his post on the Facebook group, and the orders poured in—so much that they sold out in about a half hour. He was gobsmacked!

Dan was already “famous” for his Triple Coconut Cream pie, a recipe he held onto from his days as the chef of Ritz Seafood in Voorhees. As with the pies, usually only available around the holidays, the maritozzi are sold lottery-style. He opens up sales via his Facebook page and only accepts pre-orders via text. Once they’re “sold out,” he stops taking orders. Essentially, if you snooze, you lose.

With such a huge demand, folks who didn’t get their order in experienced a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out), leading to a clamoring for the sweet buns and quite a bit of chatter amongst those who missed out on the Facebook group—only adding to their allure! I’ve never seen something wanted so badly before, maybe the original cronut?

When the first batch of maritozzi was finally in customers’ hands, posts extolling their deliciousness flooded the group. I mean, there were several posts per day. People were losing their minds at how amazing these sweet, cream-filled buns were, followed by numerous shares, thousands of comments, and a barrage of texts/messages to Dan begging him to make more.

At the same time this was happening, Boaggio’s Bread also added the maritozzi to their seasonal menu of delicious sweet treats. They were sure to point out that they were actually the first to carry them around this time of year a couple of years ago at their bakery and retail market in Mount Laurel. While they were good sellers, maritozzi still pretty much flew under the radar in South Jersey until now.

With one ordering cycle behind him, Dan decided to fire up orders again and offered a total of eight flavors. This second time, the craze was even more intense. He sold 1000 in just about 15 minutes! And there were still folks who were crestfallen when they couldn’t get their orders in on time.

The demand was evident when customers went to pick up their orders at Dan’s food truck in Pennsauken last weekend, and there was a line down the block with folks driving from all over South Jersey to get them. Talk about a viral sensation!

We call that the “SJFS Effect,” or in his words, “The power that your group has is out of this world unbelievable!!!” What can I say? Sorry, not sorry. But I digress. 😉

Now, with excitement for the maritozzi reaching a fever pitch in South Jersey, other bakeries are jumping into the game, offering their own versions of these delightful, sweet, cream-filled buns.

Just this past week, Mannino’s Cannoli Express introduced their maritozzi, available for pick-up at their retail store in Hammonton. 

One day later, Zang Croissants of Mays Landing announced on Instagram that they were also in the maritozzi game. 

Not to be outdone, maritozzi mania has landed at Ravitz Family Markets’ ShopRite locations throughout Camden and Burlington Counties. 

Nick’s in Cinnaminson has ’em, too!

Watching the demand for these treats grow and grow has been incredible. I was the lucky recipient of two maritozzi gifted by Chef Dan during the first ordering cycle, and they truly are unique and oh-so enjoyable to eat. 

Welcome to Maritozzi Madness. No matter where you get yours, I hope you try them and remember where you heard about them first. That’s right—South Jersey Food Scene!

Keep checking here, and on the Facebook group, for the latest updates about where you can find maritozzi in South Jersey.


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author

Marilyn Johnson

Marilyn is a freelance writer covering the food and drink scene of South Jersey. You can find more of her writing on Philly Grub and NewsBreak.

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3 Comments

  1. avatar
    KC in Woodbury says:

    Ma & Pa’s Tex-Mex just posted a thing yesterday on IG about a bakery in, IIRC, Hammonton making them, which is the first I’d heard of them.

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