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Italian Influences on American Christmas Traditions: Part 2 Feast of the Seven Fishes

Fish and grits, this and other fish recipes below

As I wrote yesterday, I grew up in a northern suburb of New York City around lot of Italian-Americans but until recently I never heard of the feast of the seven fishes—a Italian Christmas tradition with origins from southern Italy. The tradition calls for serving seven various seafood dishes on Christmas Eve. In my research I found three theories all rooted in Catholic and biblical culture about why the tradition calls for serving seven fishes. Yesterday I talked about the first today let's talk about the last two: The seven deadly sins—pride, envy, anger, gluttony, sloth, lust and greed and the seven days it took Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem where the baby Jesus was born. The fish feast on Christmas Eve can include among other dishes Lobster Ravioli, Tuna Fish and Cannellini Beans, Salmon and Chick Peas, Mussels Marinara, Fried Flounder Filet, and Fried Calamari. As the NPR story below illustrates, if you grow up in the U. S. south the tradition takes on a different taste. Please share your Holiday cultural tradition in the comment section below.


Seven fishes recipes from various newspapers: http://shenews.projo.com/2009/12/30-feast-of-the-seven-fishes-r.html

Christmas Eve, A Feast, Fry Pans And Seven Fishes: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/14/143654121/christmas-eve-a-feast-fry-pans-and-seven-fishes


More on the History of the Italian Diaspora in the U.S. South and food: /www.foodasalens.com/odasalens.com/2010/11/thanksgiving-day-series-part-4-mac-and.html

British Influences on North American Foodways: Eggnog Part 2

Italian Influences on American Christmas Traditions: Part 1 Fish and More Fish