What’s the best way to bring loved ones together? With food, of course!
It’s no wonder the Feast of the Seven Fishes is such a popular Christmas Eve tradition. This delicious and, yes, incredibly filling meal, originated from a desire for “home”; today, it makes holiday memories that last a lifetime.
From southern Italy to immigrant communities in the U.S.
Our story begins, not surprisingly, in southern Italy, where large seafood meals are a timeworn Christmas Eve tradition.
Yet, the specific custom of the Feast of the Seven Fishes didn’t begin there. Italian immigrants in America created this abundant feast as a celebration of the homeland they missed so much.
As for the origins of the name itself, no one knows for sure but the Bible and Christianity are a logical starting point. Although the Feast of Seven Fishes isn’t a religious ceremony or holiday, the number seven appears hundreds of times in the New Testament, plays a starring role in the seven sacraments and the seven virtues, and represents the day God rested.
Plus, it conveniently allows for seven delicious seafood dishes in a single meal!
Celebrating the Feast of the Seven Fishes in the 2020s
There’s only one rule when it comes to the Feast of the Seven Fishes: there have to be seven fishes!
Variety, however, is key when it comes to such a large meal, so consider including whitefish dishes like Roasted Cod with Pancetta and Pea Mash and Chermoula-Basted Halibut with Farro, shellfish dishes such as Shrimp Fra Divaolo Pizza, and tuna or salmon options like Salmon Piccata — a contemporary twist on classic piccata, made with fennel and citrus juices for genuine Italian flavors.
Better still, make the Feast of the Seven Fishes super-easy with City Pier’s Easy Entertaining Kit. Ready-to-eat and ready-to-bake appetizers come right to your door, like Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Lobster Crostini, Coquille St. Jacques, and a pound each of Wild Caught Extra Jumbo Shrimp and Sea Scallops.
With a feast like this, friends, family and homemade memories are sure to follow.