Feast of the Seven Fishes

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Mark Murrell

A Christmas Eve culinary tradition in Italy, immigrants to America brought the Feast of Seven Fishes, where it took root and actually expanded onto restaurant menus who celebrated the dishes of fish and shellfish made classic by the Feast. 

Many Italians love seafood at Christmas. On Christmas Eve, it's common that no meat (and also sometimes no dairy) is eaten. Often a light seafood meal is eaten and then people go to the Midnight Mass service. The types of fish and how they are served vary between different regions in Italy. But it’s this tradition in particular - which became known as “The Feast of the Seven Fishes” - that bridged eating seafood at the holidays into American culture. The Feast is an elaborate 7 (sometimes even 13) course of all seafood dishes, ranging from Baccala (salted Cod), clams, squid, sea bass, lobster, sardines to eel and mussels. Recipes and seafood selections are diverse by region, tradition, family recipes, or even what was on hand at the local fish market. Now this tradition has gained attention and has slowly earned its way deeper into American culture - many non-Italian families are embracing fish dishes inspired by this ethnic celebration. This Season, try some seafood. It might just become your tradition too.

Now you can craft your own amazing meal with our expansive selection of seafood designed to help you serve up a multiple course dinner that will be one of the more memorable experience of your Holiday season.

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