In Naples you’ll eat Lamb, in Emilia Romagna you’ll eat Pasta in Brodo, but it really depends. Photo Courtesy of Manu’s Menu . The foods served vary with each region but may consist of turkey, chicken, rabbit, spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, or another variation of a pasta dish. Explore more cultural and culinary articles from some of Italy’s best chefs and writers! Morning Tea . Copyright © 2015 - 2019 Eataly Net USA LLC - All Rights Reserved, Ravioli di Zucca (Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe). But the one thing that is ever-present on an Italian Christmas table is Spumante or Prosecco, the Italian Champagne, the Bubbly. So I headed to Italian restaurant Union Street Café in London to talk to the chefs there and find out about some more of the traditional Italian Christmas recipes they cook when they go home. The traditional Christmas Eve dinner is steeped in folk tradition and as Maria Laurino writing for the NY Times has said, the ritual varies from region to region, including the number and type of fish served. To properly break down all the stringy fibers, you have to cook them for two or three hours. "A lot of the traditional foods we cook at home are rough and ready, so they don’t necessarily work very well in a restaurant setting," explains Davide. And today Italians continue the tradition, singing carols in front of nativity scenes during the 8 days running up to Christmas known as the Novena (16 th to 24 th Dec). Even some of the vegetables enjoyed throughout Piemonte are all but unheard of outside Italy. Catholic Italians celebrate Christmas as a “day of abstinence", on Christmas Eve the family eats a meatless dinner that traditionally it followed by a living nativity scene and midnight mass.In some parts of southern Italy on Christmas Eve is served a seven fishes dinner known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes or La Vagilia. There are many traditional products eaten by Italians during the Christmas season, and two of the most famous are the pandoro and the panettone. Unsurprisingly for a country with such rich culinary traditions, there are dozens of delicacies which are all but unheard of abroad. It’s not uncommon that in any family 4 to 8 pieces are bought or received as a gift in the festive season. Business in Italy: is Amazon giving SMEs opportunities? How Italians do Christmas: food from each region. We take a big sheet of pasta and put the stuffing inside, which at Christmas is usually Fontina cheese, but you can use any leftovers mixed with egg, Parmigiano Reggiano, and spinach. So, is Christmas a good time to visit Italy? Italians eat fish at Christmas. So, even Good Friday you don’t eat meat, but today the traditions are evolving just like the Italian population, and it’s up to you to decide if you want to eat meat or not. Stockfish is battered and fried in olive oil. Especially the children look forward to the start of the Christmas season in December when Christmas trees are put up and houses are decorated. She’s the good witch that brings sweets to all the Italian kids. "Cardoons are one of the main Italian Christmas recipes we eat during this time of year, but they can be a bit of an acquired taste for someone who’s not tried them before," says Davide. Nah I’m pretty sure you can. December is the month when many workers are eagerly awaiting for their tredicesima (13th month pay), an extra month’s salary that arrives just in time for gift shopping. Davide and Stefano describe what they drink throughout the festive season, along with Davide Gagliazzo, the bar manager at Union St Café. Once we get home, everyone has another drink, before moving on to lots and lots of wine when we sit down to dinner. ... A soup made of broth and cardoons (artichoke... BASILICATA. Anyway, Italians (shouldn’t) really don’t eat much on Christmas Eve, I mean with the increase of divorced families in the country the situation is evolving and it’s becoming another Christmas feast, but the real feast is on Christmas Day, and the menu varies from region to region. To answer the question what do Italians eat it is best to list all the individual meals eaten in a typical day. It started through the Catholic tradition of abstaining from eating meat or animal products on Holy days and Fridays through the year. Italians do not eat bacon, eggs, toast or pancakes for breakfast. A traditional Christmas Eve dinner is a meal that consists of seven seafood items, but some Italians have up to 13. The region of Calabria serve dry codfish and eel is still used as part of an Italian Christmas dinner in mainly Campania, Sicily and Puglia. Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re celebrating an “Italian Christmas” then you’ve most likely heard of the Feast of the Seven Fishes.. Panettone is a sweet bread originating from Milan, Italy that is often eaten around Christmas time. Christmas is just around the corner and, where Italians are concerned, food is one of the main components in the festivities. Interested in Italian Cuisine and traditional italian food? What do Italians eat on Christmas Eve? The filling, warming nature of it is perfect when it’s cold outside, and it’s easy to keep it bubbling away throughout the night to be enjoyed by anyone. Pasta in brodo —pasta in broth—is a common kickoff to … Often, no meat and sometimes no dairy is eaten, but a light seafood meal is eaten before people go to Midnight Mass. You can’t keep going all the way till the end of the day just eating right? Photo: an Italian panettone, a sweet bread for Christmas. Minestra Di Cardi (Cardoon Soup). Italians are renowned for their baking, and a beautiful homemade bread is often served at Christmastime. "My father has seven brothers and two sisters, each with a few children, so when everyone gets together at Christmas it is a big celebration," he explains. Puglian cuisine is known for being brilliant in its simplicity. La Vigilia di Natale (Christmas Eve) 2. Panettone is well-known beyond the borders of Italy as the sweet fruity bread generously studded with candied fruit pieces and raisins which is enjoyed during the Christmas season. This is the first thing to know when talking about Christmas in Italy. 41. The street of San Gregorio Armeno is nativity scene central, the whole street is full of sculptors that prepare the figurines, and during the rest of the year, you can also find some pretty fun figurines of celebrities as well. For many Italian Americans, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is a can’t-miss Christmas tradition. We start the meal off with antipasti, then move onto the winter vegetables and enjoy.". Tradition implies that you need to eat fish for Christmas Eve, but again this really depends on where in Italy you’re from, and what your plans are for the next day. Head chef Davide Degiovanni hails from Piemonte, a northern, mountainous region known for hearty, meaty, warming dishes which fend off the cold, winter months, while his sous chef, Stefano Decostanzo, was born and raised in Puglia – a southern coastal area known for its brilliant seafood and olive oil. Unsurprisingly for a country with such rich culinary traditions, there are dozens of … Italy is known for its recipes that combine taste and a unique piece of home. Try something different this year with an Italian take on Christmas lunch. Unsurprisingly for a country with such rich culinary traditions, there are dozens of … Il Giorno di Santo Stefano (Boxing Day) The food is too good to pass on. You pinch the pasta over each tiny block of cheese, then cut them apart. "An example of this is agnolotti del plin – which means ‘pinched’ – which we eat at Christmas time. Learn how your comment data is processed. Lunch is usually regarded as the most important meal. "We mix the flour with eggs, Pecorino, and parsley to make a dough, then leave it to rest while we make a fish broth. Indeed, capitone is eaten on Christmas Eve, since it is a well-known rule around the country that it is better to eat fish on this day. Once these two bad boys come out, you know it’s Christmas time in Italy ( discover more about italians holidays and […]. Generally on the 24th of December (Christmas Eve) we have a great dinner with all the family (I mean parents, Grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins). Anyway, the idea is don’t eat meat before a festivity, and in this case, it’s a pro for the question above. PANETTONE. I remember waiting for it to be cooked and my grandmother slapping my hand because I wanted to eat it right out of the oil. We usually overcook it, then use the flesh to flavor a flan or soufflé or simply serve them boiled.". When I found this question of yours on the Interwebs I had to ask some of the true Italians I know, and they had as much of an idea of the concept as me. Once the cartellate are cooked, we drizzle something called vinocotto onto them. It’s pretty bad-ass. Breakfast. After you’ve (ahem) refrained from indulging on Christmas Eve, you’re allowed to really tuck in on Christmas Day. Polish clear barsch with uszka (small ears) dumplings filled with dried wild mushrooms. Christmas bonus. In the case where there are no relatives visiting, people will eat leftovers or try innovative recipes with leftovers from the night before. For Giorgio Locatelli, the secret to a perfect Italian Christmas is not to let anything else divert your attention away from the main point of the day. "My grandmother used to make pettole for the whole family," says Stefano. This is a thick syrup made from ten liters of grape juice, which is then reduced down to just one, so you end up with a kind of golden nectar from the gods! Once you’ve left it to prove for a couple of hours, you grab handfuls of the dough with very oily hands and drop them into a pot of oil to deep fry; the shape doesn’t matter. They’re dipped in hot water for less than a minute, then served in a pile on the middle of the table on top of a napkin covered in Parmigiano Reggiano and truffle. Eat like the Italians this Christmas. So, before you go asking what do Italians eat on Christmas Eve, let’s get to Christmas through the never-ending festivities that bring us to it. – Davide Degiovanni. We’ve all heard of ravioli and tortellini, but there are countless other filled pastas that aren’t ever really seen outside Italy. Ask most people what Italians eat for Christmas, and they’ll almost always say panettone; it’s one of the few specialities that have started to influence Christmas celebrations in other cultures. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Sign up for our newsletters and be the first to learn about the latest news and promotions! Christmas week in Italy means one thing: feasting. "You put them all in a pot and simmer the mixture very, very slowly, whisking until it all comes together. And the types of seafood range … Do you eat Zampone or Cotechino? Mine eats octopus. On Epiphany night, children believe that an old lady called 'Befana' brings presents for them. It is mostly seen in southern Italy and Sicily, where fish is the most abundant, and each area celebrates in their own way. It is a tradition with many Southern Italian families to celebrate Christmas Eve with an elaborate fish banquet, Il Cenone di Vigilia. Across Italy, Natale tends to be a family-centric holiday, a time to stay at home (and eat!) So as you can imagine I’m not a big fan as I was always a bit too curious on Befana night. "This is a perfectly balanced dessert and it’s so simple," says Stefano. Epiphany is also important in Italy. Italians typically eat a … Some popular ones are: Calamari, Scungilli (conch), Baccalà (cod), Scampi (shrimp), Clams, Mussels, and a larger fish like snapper. What do Italians eat on Christmas Eve? 7. You should really check Naples out, cause the nativity scene game is real strong ( discover the complete Naple’s guide). Italian Christmas traditions. Well that is a pretty good question, but one that you’ll be surprised to hear the answer to, the original idea was to eat only fish, but mostly because you’ll eat like a mad man on Christmas day. Hey, I get it sometimes you just want some info and not the whole thing. People from the mountains seem to love fondue. The answer can be found in the biodiversity of Italy: the country boasts so many differences between the north and south. On Christmas Eve Italians used to eat the classic "cenone" (literally "big supper"), made up of several courses. One of these is agnolotti del plin, a specialty in Piemonte that’s always served at big gatherings, particularly Christmas. Often, you serve this tasty fish dish over polenta. Sometimes referred to as The Feast of the Seven Fishes, not everybody sticks to exactly seven; some go up to 11 or 12, predominantly shellfish. Another way that Italians enjoy panettone doesn’t involve slicing it at all. Or has it killed the game? Italians celebrate New Year's Eve, known as the Vigilia, Capodanno, or Festa di San Silvestro, with a cenone (big feast).This celebratory meal often features several courses and lasts for many hours. Originally published December 16, 2016. Cause Italy Christmas traditions are as important to your Italian experience as going out on a bender when you first arrive, I know that’s defo not the case, but yeah…..and I’m not only talking about uni students also your family coming over enjoying that sweet sweet Italian wine. Ask most people what Italians eat for Christmas, and they’ll almost always say panettone; it’s one of the few specialities that have started to influence Christmas celebrations in other cultures. Discover the varied food traditions observed in Italy during the Christmas period, and how each region approaches the festive season But the one thing that is ever-present on an Italian Christmas table is Spumante or Prosecco, the Italian Champagne, the Bubbly. Photo Courtesy of Manu’s Menu . The Feast of the Seven Fishes is something that dates backs to the first Roman Catholics, but today is something that isn’t really celebrated in Italy itself. – Stefano Decostanzo, "The grolla is something nobody really knows about outside Italy. Many Italians avoid eating meat on Christmas 'eve, I eat it though. Mostly the Neapolitans play the Tombola in the Christmas period, I mean you need a break from all the food really. Will probably make you change your mind. You’ll get to ski down the slopes only with torches. If you’re interested in Florence read more about Florence in December). This meal is usually hosted for distant relatives, with different courses served. Keep an eye out for the traditional shepherd bagpipers or zampognari, who accompany the carol singers too, especially in Rome, Southern Italy or Sicily, heralding the start of holy festivities. Capitone (eel) The "capitone" is the female eel, and it is named like that because of the larger size of … There was always a lot of spiced wine going around, too, flavored with fruit, spices and citrus peel." In Italy, it’s the Befana. By Jamie magazine • November 23, 2015 • In Christmas. In Italy the Christmas season lasts for a few weeks up until Epiphany. Presepi, presepi, and more presepi. You’ll be surprised, Italian Cuisine and traditional italian food, Leonardo da Vinci – The first and last Renaissance Man, The Italian Christmas Witch? With so many different dishes eaten across the country, it’s the perfect source of inspiration for some seriously epic festive feasting. with loved ones.But customs also vary from city to city, from exactly which dishes are served, to when to open presents, making every region an interesting place to enjoy the holidays. So, while you’re still in your apartment why not start this tradition with your house-mates. Christmas breakfasts and dinners are feasts, to be sure, but they are not as formal or festive or sacred as Christmas Eve dinner. Italians also cook fish on Christmas Day, not just Christmas Eve. It’s like the age-old debate of what winter desert is better, Panettone or Pandoro? 5 things that matter in life: i) something ii) something else iii) another thing iv) something completely unrelated v) and something that rules out everything I said in the last 4. Return to Italian Christmas Index Question after question that only enjoying a nice Italian Christmas meal you’ll discover the answers to. Continue Reading. That’s why there is Santo Stefano a Christmas tradition in which you invite all your friends over and eat the leftovers, and guess what? 20 Traditional Christmas Dishes From All Around Italy ABRUZZO. On the day after Christmas, Italians have another feast, Santo Stefano’s Lunch. Upload; Log In; Sign Up; Explore New Trending; Events; The Commons; Flickr Galleries; Flickr Blog; Get Pro ← → We used to prepare pettole, then take them over to a relative’s house covered with a basic tomato sauce and some Pecorino grated on top.". Along with the fancy lights, wreaths and trees, presepi (nativity … Cardoons look like giant stalks of dark green celery but taste completely different. This dessert is as simple as it is delicious: it is basically fried sweet bread dough. (Just click the title to go to the recipe posts) Linguine alle vongole. Usually, in the States, it’s Santa Clause that brings coal to naughty kids right? Christmas traditions in the United States have many eclectic origins with those from the United Kingdom predominant, but many others over the past 400 years have come from Scandinavia, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and, most recently, … Sfincione is a traditional foccacia bread from Palermo, in Sicily, that was first baked by nuns in the San Vito monastery, and historically served over the festive period. 55 views Even the most common Italian Christmas traditions will vary from region to region. Discover the varied food traditions observed in Italy during the Christmas period, and how each region approaches the festive season. They’re usually made of cheese, but at Christmastime in Piemonte, they enjoy a much more savory dip made of quintessential Italian ingredients, called bagna cauda. A strict fast is observed for 24 hours before Christmas, and then an elaborate feast is served on Christmas Day. It will come as no surprise to you all to hear that there is no singular traditional christmas lunch deal in Italy, although having deprived themselves of meat on Christmas Eve, generally everybody eats meat on the 25th. For Christmas Day the menu runs regionally, and with enormous diversity, with traditional dishes ranging from tortellini or natalini in brodo (or the local version of tortellini) to lasagna (or both); from baccalà (cod) to anguilla (eel), and from cappone (capon) to … Christmas E… We’d take things like bay or walnut leaves in October and steep them in alcohol. Nicola Batavia Chef. Registered Eataly.com users may modify their preferences on the page "MY ACCOUNT". Try simply unwrapping your panettone and setting it out. It’s very heavy and full of flavor, so you serve it with tall winter vegetables, either raw or steamed, like Jerusalem artichoke, potato, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, and peppers, which you then dip in the mixture. Especially in the South, traditional food for this evening are broccoli with garlic, oil and lemon, spaghetti with clams, fried salted cod, big fried eels, boiled cauliflower with olives, anchovies and capers. (In Emilia-Romagna, cotechino and zampone are not just a New Year’s eve tradition, but are also eaten on Christmas day.) Served with mostarda di Cremona, a spicy candied… JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. For dinner on Christmas Eve, most Italians eat fish and seafood. Italian custom has it that if you start the New Year by eating lentils, it will bring you wealth and good fortune throughout the year (the coin-shaped lentils are symbolic of fortune). We then grate the dough into the broth, which cooks it and turns the dish into a sort of soupy pasta. Asked for seconds, for thirds, in some cases for fourths, there will always be leftover. "Durum wheat makes a much rougher pasta than what you find in the north; theirs is better suited to ravioli and filled pasta as it’s more flexible," says Stefano. (that I think are the same thing but not really one hundred percent sure) Do you have Vitello Tonnato on Christmas Eve or is that against the rules because there is some meat with your fish. Sauerkraut with mushrooms, often prepared. Give each person a 16 fl oz (470 mL) glass and have them tear off pieces of the panettone … It is common practice for Italian children write letters to Babbo Natale (Father Christmas) asking for Christmas presents. Yeah…that’s what my grandma would tell me. Panettone is a must in every italian family during the Christmas and new Year festivities. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. How much does it cost to build a house in Italy? What is the difference between Pandoro and Panettone? 6. Baccala alla Vicentina is much loved traditional Italian food for Christmas from Northern Italy. 42. Christmas in Italy. Going all the way down the Christmas traditions in Italy route, you can’t find anything better than the feasts, and the more feasts really, cause Italian traditions are made for gaining weight, especially being there are so many of them. It’s a sort of lidded clay jar with lots of little spouts to drink out of, which we fill with a mixture of coffee and either brandy, cognac or grappa. The following Italian dishes are the types of food my southern Italian family (some of whom are now all over the globe) makes at Christmastime, both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It originally comes from Milan and it takes 20 hours for the dough to rise three times, which helps produce the domed shape of the panettone and gives it its light porous texture. Editor's note: This article by Tom Shingler first appeared on Great Italian Chefs. Baccalà Con Peperoni Cruschi (Cod with Fried Peppers). Traditionally served for Christmas Eve dinner, this meal consists of a spread of seven different types of seafood, from appetizers to main courses—and it can last for hours! Italian Christmas Food and Drink. The nativity scenes are a huge deal in Italy like you have no idea how much preparation goes behind them. Italy ABRUZZO outside Italy brings sweets to all the way till the end of the Christmas in. The zeppole ( also called struffoli in some cases for fourths, there are of. The pasta over each tiny block of what do italians eat for christmas, then move onto the winter vegetables and free! A bit of insight it into strips di Zucca ( Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe.. Is Spumante or Prosecco, the Italian Champagne, the tradition — or its origin this. Meat or animal products on Holy days and Fridays through the Catholic religion question after question that enjoying... Things like bay or walnut leaves in October and steep them in alcohol pieces are bought received... 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