When most people think of Italian food, they think of bowels of pasta and rich tomato sauces. Italy has many costal cities and fish is a big part of the Mediterranean regions. Within the Mediterranean region you will find almost any and all types of fish. This includes everything from anchovies to eels. A delightful tradition that many Italians (and others) celebrate on Christmas Eve is the Italian Seven Fish Feast. It is a bountiful holiday tradition that is very big affair where both family and friends gather together to have a meal of several different types of fish and to make a toast to the holidays. Different types of fish are used to show appreciation for a prosperous year during this wonderful event.
The Meaning of the Italian Seven Fish Feast
While there is a lot of speculation as to the meaning of this holiday, there really isn’t any definitive answer. There are some people who believe that this feast is meant to represent the seven days during which God created the Earth. On the other hand, there are also a lot of Italians who believe that the feast represents the seven sins and that each of the different fish dishes represents that specific sin. However, this too is merely speculation. The only thing that is actually known is that this celebration is something that most Italians appreciate and share together regardless of where in the world they live. The meaning of the Italian Seven Fish Feast has long been forgotten, but no one can forget the good food that is served and eaten during this feast.
The Italian Seven Fish Feast Dishes
Regardless as to whether it is an anchovy casserole or a roasted striped sea bass, the dishes that are made for this celebration are not plain. Of course, these recipes also are not set in stone and will have variations from house to house that holds an Italian Seven Fish Feast. All that the feast requires is simply that seven different types of seafood dishes are served at the feast. The feast will also include a lot of different side dishes that are set on the table with these special seafood dishes. None of them will be able to take the limelight away from the seafood dishes themselves though. This is because you will find that Italians will save their best recipes for the best seafood dishes for this day, each and every one of which will be memorable until the next year’s feast comes around. The celebration of this feast manages to bring together friends and family to celebrate on a very special evening and the special fish dishes just add to the festivities.
Eel at the Italian Seven Fish Feast
Even though eel is not technically a type of fish, it still holds a very important place within this feast. Usually eel is made in a wonderful sauce that the feast’s host prepares. Guests are never responsible for bringing the eel dish with them, as it is a traditional for the host to offer this dish to their guests on Christmas Eve as a sign of prosperity.
Some people cater their Italian Seven Fish Feast while others like making the dishes themselves. Since the fish dishes are the focus of the feast, sometimes the host and the guests will provide the fish dishes and cater the sides and desserts. If you are in the Miami, Florida or Davie, Florida area, contact Mama Jennie’s Italian Restaurant for ideas how they can help you with your Italian Seven Fish Feast.