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The feast of the 7 fishes is a tradition of celebrating Christmas Eve the Italian way. The night before Christmas we abstain from eating meat, feasting on fish while waiting for the birth of Jesus at midnight. So here are 21 recipe ideas for a 3 meal course plus dessert. Merry Christmas!
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Origin of the 7 fishes tradition
Some people wonder if this really is an Italian tradition, and yes it is.
Even if it is not strictly Catholic, the Roman Catholic Church does not require fasting the night before Christmas, we do eat fish on Christmas Eve.
Now, are there seven? Not really. The first time I heard about the number of 7 was in New York, but I am happy to go with it as the Italian Christmas Eve feast has many fish served in different ways, and 7 is a good number to use as a reference, so why not?
Personally I think that the reason we eat fish on Christmas Eve is just that it is easier to digest at night and since Italians like sumptuous banquets, fish is a better option given we will be stuffing ourselves again the next day with meat….and more food on the following days!
7 recipes for each course
So here is a list of 7 recipes for each course of a 3-course meal plus side dishes and traditional Italian Christmas desserts. I am sure you will find something that you and your family will enjoy this Christmas.
If you want to know more about how an Italian meal is structured and the number of courses we serve for a special feast, you can read the article: Italian Sunday Dinner a 6 meal courses.
Primo piatto:pasta, rice, stew
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