Feast of the Seven Fishes

The Feast of the Seven Fishes (La Vigilia) is a Christmas Eve tradition for many Italian families. But you don’t have to be Italian to prepare this feast yourself!
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The Main Attraction
Start by deciding what seven fishes you want to serve. Popular choices include anchovies, sardines, dried salt cod (baccalà), whiting, eel, squid (calamari), octopus, shrimp, mussels, oysters, and/or clams. You’ll find all of the fresh seafood you want at Giant Eagle®, and our seafood experts can answer all of your questions.

Then, browse our seafood recipes for ways to prepare your chosen seafood. Traditionally, whiting and baccalà are fried. Calamari, clams and mussels are simmered in tomato sauce and served over pasta, or boiled, steamed or baked. Round out the main course with lasagna and other pasta dishes.

A Beautiful Beginning with a Sweet Ending
Of course, Italian meals begin with antipasti. Peruse the Olive & Antipasti Bar in your Giant Eagle store to create your own, or order a prepared antipasti platter from our Deli Department.

Your feast won’t be complete without baked goods (particularly panettone, another Italian tradition) and homemade wine. Pick up fresh pastries, including panettone, in the Giant Eagle Bakery.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules for what to serve for your Italian feast, so have fun with it and mangia!

Origins
Although its exact origin and symbolism are not known, the Feast of the Seven Fishes may represent the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, the seven deadly sins, the seven days of creation, the seven days it took Mary and Joseph to make the journey to Bethlehem, the seven hills of Rome, the seven winds of Italy, or the seven wonders of the world.