Many different traditions accompany the winter holidays, including the Feast of Seven Fishes! Get in the holiday spirit, and read on for some fun trivia about this delicious holiday!
Seven tends to be a very symbolic number in the Catholic faith: there are seven Catholic sacraments, seven hills of Rome, seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and it took Mary and Joseph seven days to travel to Bethlehem. However, many Italian families have developed their own traditional number of fishes! In most parts of Italy, odd numbers are considered luckier, so many families stick to an odd combination of fish. There is also disagreement about whether the number refers to the number of dishes or the types of fish. Therefore, some families do seven (or ten or thirteen) plates for the holiday feast, while others do fewer dishes but incorporate that number of different types of fish or seafood.
In Italy, Capitone (eel) is a sign of wealth, so for many families, eel makes it to the feast. Another traditional favorite is Scungilli, which is the sea snail often called whelk or conch. Aside from those, the varieties of “fish” for the feast are as different as the families that celebrate. Common types of fishes include but are not limited to baccala (salt cod), whiting, anchovies, calamari, shrimp, clams, lobster, salmon, swordfish, tuna, halibut, and lobster! While nothing is strictly mandatory, there are traditional regional dishes associated with different types of fish or shellfish, such as vermicelli with clams in Naples but spaghetti with anchovies in Rome. If you’re looking for new fish dishes to try, look for the regional variations, and of course, you can always go with crab cakes!
Visit Basta Pasta This Holiday Season
For more than 12 years, Basta Pasta has given Maryland diners delicious Italian food from local and fresh ingredients. Enjoy delicious pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and fine wine at one of our locations in Timonium, Fallston, Perry Hall, or Eldersburg. Contact us online or give us a call at the location-specific phone number listed here. Read our menu and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! If you don’t feel like going out, order our signature crab cakes online and enjoy delicious Basta Pasta from home!