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Eel Soup and Other Christmas Recipes from Chef Nazario Biscotti La Cucina Italiana USA - Alessandra Tibollo. The advent calendar is always focused on food and traditions. ): We start with a big one. In Italy, Christmas food can even vary according to region. Christmas decorations and nativity scenes are usually set up in Sicilian homes on the feast day of the Immacolata, dedicated to the Virgin Mary on the 8th of December. This tradition probably comes from Naples, a city that sits by the sea and thus has good fish readily available. For example, Monreale's annual holy music week of concerts in its splendid Byzantine cathedral takes place in November just before Roman Catholic "Advent." 1. Along with baccalá, calamari and eel they complete the four pillars of the fish foundation of this distinct event. Indeed, its use recipe dates back to Roman times. Ingredients. So how does eating eels relate to the Christian celebration of having Christmas Eve dinner with family and friends? The number seven is also up for debate, as many families serve fewer types of fish (and some serve as many as 13 different fish varieties! Cover and let marinate for 2 or 3 days before serving , stirring occasionally . And finally, nougat to munch on. Ingredients may include eel, pork, lamb, pork, cheese, peas, artichokes, and beans. Traditional Italian Christmas food isn’t just a meal — it’s more of an event. 1 kg of eel (anguilla or capitone) 56 fresh bay leaves (yes, 56, it is a symbolic number etc) The Sicilian Christmas season begins unofficially in late November. Smelts were always a staple of Christmas Eve Fish Dinner. Recipes for various Christmas fish dishes from Puglia, with stunning photos. There are also spaghetti with anchovies, fried or soaked eel and chicory salad. In Rome, on the Eve, you cannot miss the fish soup, or the pasta and broccoli in broth. Looking at Christmas meals in Bel Paese makes you understand that, indeed, there is no such thing as Italian cuisine. Pour warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Wash whole oranges, and pierce all over with fork. Christmas day was a day of celebration and a special dinner was served according to the local traditions, available food, and the family economic conditions. ). Grilled eel is popular and it is said that the doge Andrea Gritti died at the age of eighty-four on December 28, 1538 after eating too many grilled eels on Christmas … One of the most popular theories regarding this is the similarities of an eel to a snake. As time went by, the food prepared for the Christmas Holiday has been subjected to changes and affected by the new lifestyle and different cooking manners which varied from place to place. If you want to go all in, then in this amazing basket you’ll find everything you need to make a Sicilian … Origins and tradition. The filling varies widely and can be prepared with virtually any meat, fish, and vegetable. There are a lot of dishes to keep track of if you’re thinking of creating your own Italian Christmas menu. And the idea of Christmas caused us to think of our own upcoming Christmas Eve celebration and reminded Jim of his mother’s eel stew. Abstaining from meat before the big day is rooted in Roman Catholic tradition, though … Very often one of the fishes served during Christmas Eve’s Feast of the 7 Fishes, eel is considered to be good luck for those who eat it. Cut the eel into pieces about 6 cm, dredge in flour and fry in hot oil, then let them drain and place in a bowl and pour the hot vinegar and let cool. Although its cuisine has a lot in common with Italian cuisine, Sicilian food also has Spanish, Greek and Arab influences. I used kilos, just convert into lbs. With the coming of the present generation, today’s 20 year olds, the four pillars crumbled and smelts, along with the other staples, disappeared from The Food Table. The Feast of the Seven Fishes is part of the Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration, although it is not called that in Italy and is not a "feast" in the sense of "holiday," but rather a grand meal. Soak in cold water for three days, changing the water every day. Ingredients are for 4 people. In the past, when the night before Christmas the faithful went to the church to attend the vigil, they brought food and sweets of any kind consuming them during the function. It is all about regional cooking. Explore ISDA’s recipes, here. Less famous are the southern Italy Christmas traditions; in Rome and Naples, for example, capitone is a must (“anguilla” in Italian, and “eel” in English). Sprinkle yeast on top and let bloom. Throughout much of Italy, eel is a dish served traditionally around the holidays but is most commonly prepared in the southern portions of the country, with Naples famous for its eel. It wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without fish, and capitone fritto, or fried eel is one of the most popular choices in Italy, where the tradition goes back for millennia.While eel is almost unheard of in the US outside sushi circles, there’s a good reason for its popularity: eel has a meaty flavor and firm texture that even the most fish-phobic eater can enjoy—if only they would give it a try. "Everyone interprets the ‘rules’ of Christmas dinner in their own way. Capitone in bianco or Anguilla in bianco is a very traditional recipe that is very common in most parts of Italy for the day before Christmas when, in theory, you should not eat meat. Abstaining from meat on Christmas Eve would have signified waiting and anticipation of of the Christ Child’s arrival on Christmas morning. What about desserts? Food Traditions. Although the food eaten at Christmas varies throughout Italy, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is a Christian practice that’s still observed in many homes. The first course is either broth or pasta followed by a second course generally based on meat or fish, followed by dessert,” Giovani Ballarini, anthropologist, president of the Academy of … Here are some recipes to help: Recipes for a whole Christmas meal, including tortellini in brodo, stuffed chicken, eel with peas and tomato, and panettone pudding. The Feast of The 7 Fish is a Southern Italian tradition that does not exist in the rest of Italy, it is of the South. This custom was dramatically abolished by the Church that, in Palermo, on the 1647 Christmas Eve, avoided irreverent banquets during the celebration of Christmas. A Christmas recipe from Lesina, where the best eels in Italy are grown, by chef Nazario Biscotti of "Le Antiche Sere" and out-and-out king of the … Add salt, sugar, olive oil, and flour. And beans 7 different types of fish on Christmas Eve in Venice food also Spanish. Rome, on the Eve, you can not miss the fish foundation of this distinct event,... 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