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Seven Fishes?

December 24, 2010

I grew up surrounded by Italian-Americans.  And most of them told me about the “Feast of the Seven Fishes.” On Christmas Eve, real Italians eat a meal with seven different fishes.

Part of my Italian dream was to partake in all of their food traditions.  I wanted to eat the cannoli, make the pasta, drink the wine.  I wanted to be a part of it all.

So on Christmas Eve, I excitedly asked my host mom if she would be cooking seven fishes for the Vigilia (Christmas Eve) meal.

ARE YOU CRAZY? she responded.

I can’t imagine a person in their right mind who would eat seven fishes in one meal, she said.

We may have sampled seven different wines in that meal, though. There was the aperitivo wine, probably Asti Spumanti, which we drank while munching on aperitivi snacks and playing with the grandkids before the meal. (Here we are with a special Christmas gift from a special granddaughter of our host parents:

Then a special bottle of white wine with the primo, pasta allo scoglio, a linguine with shellfish.  (Yes, my host mom said, of course the meal has some fish.  But SEVEN FISHES? ARE YOU CRAZY?)

Secondo was a whole salmon.  Then there were a few different dessert wines.

And then we went to church.

Merry Christmas!!

edited to include: If you’re curious what the Seven Fishes look like, go over to bellalimento, where Paula has prepared and photographed the feast!

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