The Feast of the Seven Fishes (Italian : Festa dei sette pesci), also known as The Eve (La Vigilia, cognate to The Vigil), is an Italian-American celebration of Christmas Eve with dishes of fish and other seafood.
Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire and, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a protected language in these countries. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.
Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day before Christmas Day, the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus. Christmas Day is observed around the world, and Christmas Eve is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day. Together, both days are considered one of the most culturally significant celebrations in Christendom and Western society.
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.Christmas Eve is a vigil or fasting day, and the abundance of seafood reflects the observance of abstinence from meat until the feast of Christmas Day itself.
Today, the meal typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. The tradition comes from Southern Italy, where it is known simply as The Vigil (La Vigilia). This celebration commemorates the wait, the Vigilia di Natale , for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.
Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans, prominently including fish and shellfish. Shellfish include various species of molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Historically, marine mammals such as cetaceans as well as seals have been eaten as food, though that happens to a lesser extent in modern times. Edible sea plants such as some seaweeds and microalgae are widely eaten as sea vegetables around the world, especially in Asia. In North America, although not generally in the United Kingdom, the term "seafood" is extended to fresh water organisms eaten by humans, so all edible aquatic life may be referred to as "seafood". For the sake of completeness, this article is inclusive of all edible aquatic life.
Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.
The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from eating meat on the eve of a feast day.As no meat or animal fat could be used on such days, observant Catholics would instead eat fish (typically fried in oil).
While the first reference to the feast was seen in 1980s in The New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer, it is unclear when the term "Feast of the Seven Fishes" was popularized. The meal may include seven, eight, or even nine specific fishes that are considered traditional. However, some Italian-American families have been known to celebrate with nine, eleven or thirteen different seafood dishes. "Seven" fishes as a fixed concept or name is unknown in Italy itself. In some of the oldest Italian American families, there was no count of the number of fish dishes. Dinner began with whiting in lemon, followed by some version of clams or mussels in spaghetti, baccalà and onward to any number of other fish dishes.
The most famous dish for Southern Italians is baccalà (salted cod fish). The custom of celebrating with a simple fish such as baccalà reflects customs in what were historically impoverished regions of Southern Italy, as well as seasonal factors. Fried smelts, calamari and other types of seafood have been incorporated into the Christmas Eve dinner over the years.
Smelts are a family of small fish, the Osmeridae, found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans, as well as rivers, streams and lakes in Europe, North America and Northeast Asia. They are also known as freshwater smelts or typical smelts to distinguish them from the related Argentinidae, Bathylagidae, and Retropinnidae.
There are many hypotheses for what the number seven represents. Seven is the most repeated number in the Bible and appears over 700 times.[ citation needed ]
The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians.
One popular theory is the number represents completion, as shown in Genesis 2:2: "By the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work." During the feast of the seven fishes, participants celebrate the completion of God's promise of the Messiah through Jesus.[ citation needed ]
Other theories include: that the number represents the seven Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church; or it represents the Seven hills of Rome that surround the city. [ citation needed ]It may represent perfection (the traditional Biblical number for divinity is three, and for Earth is four, and the combination of these numbers, seven, represents God on Earth, or Jesus Christ).
The meal's components may include some combination of anchovies, whiting, lobster, sardines, baccalà (dried salt cod), smelts, eels, squid, octopus, shrimp, mussels and clams.The menu may also include pasta, vegetables, baked goods and wine.
Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine. Contemporary Greek cookery makes wide use of vegetables, olive oil, grains, fish, wine, and meat. Other important ingredients include olives, pasta, cheese, lemon juice, herbs, bread, and yogurt. The most commonly used grain is wheat; barley is also used. Common dessert ingredients include nuts, honey, fruits, and filo pastries. It is strongly influenced by Ottoman cuisine and thus,, shares foods such as baklava, tzatziki, moussaka, dolmades, yuvarlakia and keftedes with Turkey and the neighboring countries. It is also influenced by Italian cuisine and cuisines from the northern countries. Additionally, in specific regions it includes several kinds of pasta, like hilopites, goglies (goges) etc
Danish cuisine originated from the behinderung peasant population's own local produce and was enhanced by cooking techniques developed in the late 19th century and the wider availability of goods during and after the Industrial Revolution. Open sandwiches, known as smørrebrød, which in their basic form are the usual fare for lunch, can be considered a national speciality when prepared and decorated with a variety of fine ingredients. Hot meals are typically prepared with meat or fish. Substantial meat and fish dishes includes flæskesteg and kogt torsk with mustard sauce and trimmings. Ground meats became widespread during the industrial revolution and traditional dishes that are still popular includes frikadeller, karbonader and medisterpølse. Denmark is known for its Carlsberg and Tuborg beers and for its akvavit and bitters, but amongst the Danes themselves imported wine has gained steadily in popularity since the 1960s.
Norwegian cuisine in its traditional form is based largely on the raw materials readily available in Norway and its mountains, wilderness, and coast. It differs in many respects from its continental counterparts with a stronger focus on game and fish. Many of the traditional dishes are results of using conserved materials, with respect to the long winters.
A fish fry is a meal containing battered or breaded fried fish. It usually also includes french fries, coleslaw, hushpuppies, lemon slices, tartar sauce, hot sauce, malt vinegar and dessert. Some Native American versions are cooked by coating fish with semolina and egg yolk.
Cypriot cuisine is the official cuisine of Cyprus; it has also been influenced by Byzantine, French, Italian, Catalan, Ottoman and Middle Eastern cuisines.
The centerpiece of contemporary Thanksgiving in the United States and in Canada is a large meal, generally centered on a large roasted turkey. It is served with a variety of side dishes which vary from traditional dishes such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, to ones that reflect regional or cultural heritage. The majority of the dishes in the traditional American version of Thanksgiving dinner are made from foods native to the New World, as according to tradition the Pilgrims received these foods, or learned how to grow them, from the Native Americans. Thanksgiving dinner is the largest eating event in the United States; people eat more on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year.
Italian-American cuisine is a style of Italian cuisine adapted throughout the United States. Italian-American food has been shaped throughout history by various waves of immigrants and their descendants, called Italian Americans. As immigrants from the different regions of Italy settled throughout the various regions of the United States, many brought with them a distinct regional Italian culinary tradition. Many of these foods and recipes developed into new favorites for the townspeople and later for Americans nationwide.
Christmas dinner is a meal traditionally eaten at Christmas. This meal can take place any time from the evening of Christmas Eve to the evening of Christmas Day itself. The meals are often particularly rich and substantial, in the tradition of the Christian feast day celebration, and form a significant part of gatherings held to celebrate the arrival of Christmastide. In many cases, there is a ritual element to the meal related to the religious celebration, such as the praying of grace.
Tunisian cuisine, the cuisine of Tunisia, is a blend of Mediterranean and Berber cuisines. Its distinctive spiciness comes from the many civilizations which have ruled the land now known as Tunisia: Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Spanish, Turkish, Italians (Sicilians), French, and the native Punics-Berber people. Many of the cooking styles and utensils began to take shape when the ancient tribes were nomads. Nomadic people were limited in their cooking implements by what pots and pans they could carry with them. The Tunisian tagine, is very different from the Algerian or Moroccan dish. It is a type of a pie dish, made out of eggs, meat and vegetables, similar to the Italian frittata or the eggah.
Neapolitan cuisine has ancient historical roots that date back to the Greco-Roman period, which was enriched over the centuries by the influence of the different cultures that controlled Naples and its kingdoms, such as that of Aragon and France.
Squid is eaten in many cuisines; in English, the culinary name calamari is often used for squid dishes. There are many ways to prepare and cook squid. Fried squid is common in the Mediterranean. In Lebanon, Syria and Armenia, it is served with tarator sauce. In New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, it is sold in fish and chip shops. In North America, fried squid is a staple in seafood restaurants. In Britain, it can be found in Mediterranean 'calamari' or Asian 'salt and pepper fried squid' forms in all kinds of establishments, often served as a bar snack, street food, or starter.
Cappon magro[kapˌpom ˈmaːɡro], is an elaborate Genoese salad of seafood and vegetables over hardtack arranged into a decorative pyramid and dressed with a rich sauce.
Christmas is celebrated throughout December and traditionally until St. Knut's Day on January 13. The main celebration and the exchange of gifts in many families takes place on Christmas Eve, December 24. The Lucia Day is celebrated during Advent, on December 13.
Greek-American cuisine is the cuisine of Greek Americans and their descendants, who have modified Greek cuisine under the influence of American culture and immigration patterns of Greeks to the United States. As immigrants from various Greek areas settled in different regions of the United States and became "Greek Americans," they carried with them different traditions of foods and recipes that were particularly identified with their regional origins in Greece and yet infused with the characteristics of their new home locale in America. Many of these foods and recipes developed into new favorites for town peoples and then later for Americans nationwide. Greek-American cuisine is especially prominent in areas of concentrated Greek communities, such as Astoria, Queens and Tarpon Springs, Florida.
This is a categorically-organized list of foods. Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Barbadian cuisine, also called Bajan cuisine, is a mixture of African, Portuguese, Indian, Irish, Creole and British influences. A typical meal consists of a main dish of meat or fish, normally marinated with a mixture of herbs and spices, hot side dishes, and one or more salads. The meal is usually served with one or more sauces.
It's a Southern Italian (and now Italian-American) custom in which a grand meal of at least seven different kinds of seafood is served before midnight Mass The fish part comes from the Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on Christmas Eve, while the number may refer to the seven sacraments.
It is a Christmas Eve ritual handed down from mother to son. Every year, Ed Giobbi, the artist and cookbook author, serves a holiday feast of seven fish dishes (seven for the seven sacraments). Each dish is cooked in a different manner — broiled, fried, baked and so on — or uses a different main ingredient. There is generally a fish or seafood salad and, inevitably, pasta served with a seafood sauce. ...