Buon Natale as I am writing here from my office high in the mountains of Abruzzo. Yesterday was a whirlwind of Christmas celebrations-from Rome to Umbria and Abruzzo.
The culinary tour I am hosting here will get to be part of many special events not to mention the Holiday cooking classes of traditional Christms dishes and a wine pairing at a vineyard in Umbria..
Although I am on a whirlwind of going back and forth between Umbria and Abruzzo- I was able to fit in a ‘vigilia’ ( christmas Eve) dinner was filled with many fish dishes. Though many of you are still emailing my assistant for this article about the traditional seven fishes Christmas dnner-here it is http://www.gomestic.com/Cooking/Traditional-Italian-Feast-of-the-Seven-Fishes.58592
But I have been doing some research of my own on this ‘tradition’ that many seem to be fascinated with especially in the US- and have come to the conclusion that eating a variety of fish dishes on Christmas Eve is the tradition. The part about the seven fishes may well be something that our grandparents and-or great grandparents who came to the US when they were young teens- began as a tradition in the US. The households questioned in many parts of Italy are not at all familiar with the seven fishes dinner. So it could also have been a very old tradition from the late 1880’s or early 1900’s…
And all of the fish dishes served are light dishes using fresh fish, no heavy tomato sauces, dishes ranging from Clam Casino to seafood salad to fresh pasta with seafood in a light tomato sauce to fritto misto (fresh fish dipped in flour and then flash fried lightly)… Delicious and authentically Italian using only the freshest and best ingredients.
Wishing you all the best and brightest of Holidays..Stay tuned for recipes and photos from the culinary tour to Umbria, and side events in Rome and Abruzzo.
Mangia Bene, Vivi Bene
For more recipes get your copy of the best seling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking at http://www.marialiberati.com