The holiday season is all about family time and tradition. Though honey-baked ham and mashed potatoes make a regular appearance at most festive gatherings, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is another beloved celebration that centers around food. This Italian-American tradition takes grandiosity to a whole new level, and as the name suggests, seafood is the star of the show. Whether it’s your first or fifth time hosting the holidays, we’ve got you covered on everything you need to know about the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
What is the Feast of the Seven Fishes?
Said to have originated in Southern Italy, where it is known as “La Vigilia,” the Feast of the Seven Fishes is most often celebrated on Christmas Eve. Despite its name, this mouthwatering meal typically consists of 10 or more dishes ranging from shellfish to white fish. This festive gathering is enjoyed by Italian-American families all across the country and often includes wine, music, and plenty of merriment.
Traditional Fish and Seafood Dishes
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is just that – a feast! While some families opt for seven courses of seafood-centered recipes, others simply put out a massive spread that can be enjoyed for hours on end. No matter how you choose to host your celebration, here are some of the most popular dishes to feature at your Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Shrimp - Whether you want to serve a classic shrimp cocktail or a butter shrimp scampi, this beloved shellfish is a great starter.
Oysters - Fresh and briny, raw oysters always get the party going. Of course, you can always grill them and top with breadcrumbs and cheese for a classic take on Oyster Rockefeller.
Clams - Stuffed clams are always hit! These savory, baked mollusks are almost always on the menu at a traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Pasta - No Feast of the Seven Fishes is complete without a classic linguine alle vongole or a spicy seafood pasta. Would it even be an Italian party if pasta wasn’t on the menu?
Cioppino - Warm up from the winter weather with a cozy cioppino! This tomato-based seafood stew can be made with mussels, squid, cod, and more.
Scallops - Seared scallops cooked in white white and butter never fail to put a smile on the whole family’s face.
Sea Bass - Delicate and flaky, sea bass is one of the best white fish varieties to serve. Simply pair it with a garlic butter sauce and voila!
Feeling inspired? Tag us @bristolfarms – we can’t wait to see your creations.