The holidays are here – travel, visiting with family and friends, and, of course, eating. After years of turkey, ham, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, you may be up for a change this year. Why not celebrate your holiday meals Italian style?
Christmas in Italy is a major celebration that is closely tied into the Catholic faith and the commemoration of the birth of Jesus. Many of the traditional dishes have significance to the traditional celebrations.
Italy’s holiday dishes vary by region. In northern parts of the country, they typically favor pasta stuffed with meat in rich, capon-based broths as a main course. Following the pasta, a boiled pork dish with mashed potatoes is served. Appetizers consist of a specially prepared prosciutto made with meat from local pigs raised in the area. Dessert traditionally includes cakes made of candied fruit, nuts and other healthy goodies. Another regional favorite entrée is a dish called Bollito Misto, which is made from a variety of meat and poultry served over different types of sauces and fruit.
The southern part of Italy serves a different type of meal depending on the region. Around Rome, the main course is typically a fresh water fish or tripe. Farther south in Basilicata, everything is based on fish.
If you are unable to travel to Italy, you can find holiday recipes online. If you don’t feel like shopping and cooking, let Illiano Cucina Mediterranea put together a special holiday menu for your family or party. Illiano Cucina’s catering service offers seasonal specials during the holidays. Their party trays can be custom-created to feature the “seven fishes”. If you visit the restaurant during the holiday season, see if the chef has created the traditional Baccalá, a real delicacy of salted cod. There are fish and seafood specials every night; taste calamari, scungilli, clams, mussels, shrimp, a flavorful zuppa di pesce, or the fresh fish of the day. Call today to make Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve reservations. Order party trays and catering services or gift certificates for your friends and family. Come to Illiano Cucina Mediterranea and celebrate Christmas, Italian style!