What is The ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’?
I'll tell you, and also where you get it this holiday season.
In some Italian-American households, on Christmas Eve, their homes will smell like Christmas Trees mixed with the salty smell of the North Atlantic. The Feast of the Seven Fishes, also known as 'The Vigil", or "Festa dei sette pesci", is a seven course meal that traditionally features seven different seafoods. My grandmother and dad used to cook up cod, lobster, squid, clams, mussels, shrimp, and scallops.
Octopus, Baccala (salted cod), smelts, anchovies, crabs, oysters, scungilli. and eel are all popular ingredients used in the Feast of the Seven Fishes. It's not clearly know why the number of 7 dishes was settled on, some theorize that it has to do with God resting on the 7th day, or the number represents the 7 sacraments of the Roman Catholic church. All I truly know is that if someone is serving up 7 seafood dishes, I'm in.
As I was eating breakfast at the Whole Foods in Danbury Saturday, I saw a tabletop flyer advertising a food sampling of some of the ingredients that you may use in your own feast. This sampling will take place in the Danbury Whole Foods on December 12th & 13th from 11AM to 3PM.
I also noticed an advertisement from Juniper's Restaurant in Middlebury. Juniper's will be serving The Feast on Sunday December 13th at 1PM. Reservations are required, which you can make by calling 203-598-0422. Click on their name above, or HERE to check out the menu for the Feast.