May 4, 2016
Gastronews (323 articles)

Italian Traditions

Let me guess: You are Italian and you have never heard of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Am I right? Well, this does not surprise me, because this ancient tradition recurring on the 24th of December, is an Italian-American celebration of Christmas Eve, confined to the States.

While Italian families usually eat only seafood dishes on Christmas Eve, according to the Roman Catholic tradition of abstinence from the consumption of meat on Wednesdays, Fridays and (in the Latin Church) Saturdays, as well the eves of important festivities, Italian American live it like a proper ritual, which consists of having not only a seafood-based dinner but 7 different types of fish during Christmas Eve.

Although in Italy, especially in the South, families are used to gathering on Christmas Eve to enjoy a fish feast, the ritual of enjoying seven (at least) fishes is typically of Italian American origin.

Where does this feast come from?But where does this tradition come from? Many are the legends sorrounding this curious but ancient ritual. The habit of eating seafood on Christmas Eve comes from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstinence from the consumption of meat or milk products on Wednesdays, Fridays and (in the Latin Church) Saturdays, as well as on the eve on any important religious feast. And there are more than just one hypothesis for what the number “7″ means.

Did you know seven was the most repeated number in the Bible? Actually, it appears over 700 times. And one of the most accredited theories is the number represents completion: in the Genesis 2:2, you can read “By the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” and, in a way, during the feast of the seven fishes, Christians celebrate the completion of God’s promise of the Messiah through Jesus. But seven also represents the seven Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church such as the Seven Hills of Rome that surround the city.

What’s on the menu?Feast of Seven Fishes menu includes Baccalà (salted cod fish), anchovies, whiting, lobster, sardines, smelts, eels, squid, octopus, shrimp, mussels and clams. So if you want to enjoy a typical Italian American style Christmas Eve dinner this year, make sure you don’t miss anything of these ingredients from above your table! From baccalà (salt cod) with pasta, as a salad or fried and baked cod, to cod fish balls in tomato sauce and Coryphaena (Baked or Fried), these are only some of the delicious dishes you cannot miss out on enjoying for Christmas Eve dinner, if you want to celebrate in the Italian American manner.

Comparte esto:


Tu magazine online con sabor mediterráneo. Te ofrecemos recetas caseras y únicas de la cocina mediterránea. También, podrás disfrutar de críticas gastronómicas y artículos de opinión. ¡Esperamos que disfrutes cada visita que nos hagas! Entra... estás en tu casa.


No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write comment

Your data will be safe! Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person. Required fields marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.