If you come from an Italian-American family, you are likely familiar with the Christmas Eve tradition known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes. The exact origin of this tradition is somewhat debatable - some claim it began in Southern Italy itself, others believe it originated with the first Italian immigrants to the New World as a way to celebrate the bounty of the New World.
In either case, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is typically a long, multi-course dinner enjoyed on Christmas Eve involving no meat, but seven different kinds of seafood. Many families enjoy specific recipes passed down from generation to generation; others today choose to celebrate at one of the many Italian restaurants now specializing in modern or traditional feasts. In either case, it is a wonderful holiday tradition that brings families together, large and small, to enjoy delicious Italian seafood specialties and reflect on the events of the previous year.
This page is a brief introduction to the Feast of the Seven Fishes, with links and resources included so that you can learn more about it - or perhaps to serve a 7 Fishes Feast yourself this year!
I love fried smelts. I eat them cold the next day!
I'll have to spend a New Year's Eve in Italy :) Your articles are so enticing, both informative and fun.