We are excited to present our crab-centric version of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, and to celebrate the sea. The Feast of the is widely celebrated on Christmas Eve in the Italian-American community, especially in New Jersey, where I live. We hope you enjoy the recipes and have a wonderful Holiday Season and the best of wishes in 2022. For those not in the know a little explanation of the tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes;
The ancient tradition of eating fish on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic custom of abstinence from meat and dairy products on the eve of certain holidays, including Christmas. The number seven is rooted back in ancient times and it can be connected to multiple Catholic symbols: in fact, the seven seems repeated more than 700 times in the Bible. Also, according to the Roman Catholic Church, seven are the sacraments, the days of the Creation, as well as the deadly sins. Hence seven courses!
Flash forward to the early 1900s, when the official “Feast of the Seven Fishes” first emerged. Italian-American families rekindled the Old Country’s Christmas Eve tradition by preparing a seven-course seafood meal (hence the name of the newly found tradition) that both made them feel close to their homes, while celebrating the sea, a major connection in Italy. Today, it’s considered one of the oldest Italian traditions — but we give America credit for that!
Happiest of Holidays,
Chef John & the Entire Newport Team