What do Italians Eat for Christmas? Lunch is the main meal. Il cotechino(sausage, similar to salami) 3. Christmas is a major holiday in Italy… which means Italians celebrate lots of great, unique Christmas traditions! Add the meat to the egg mixture and combine well. This is the first thing to know when talking about Christmas in Italy. The children really enjoy being involved in turning the pasta machine and helping to fold the pasta. As much (delicious!) There is also the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December, celebrating the conception of Christ. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the egg, nutmeg, prosciutto, mortadella, bone marrow, and Parmigiano-reggiano cheese. In southern Italy, fish is served as the main course. Bombardino(a popular drink similar to eggnog) Another popular Christmas activity is the “urn of fate”, in which present… If you're new here, you may want to subscribe by e-mail. Some day I’ll try, preferably in Sicily, at Christmas. Like everything else in Italy, of course, exact Christmas foods depend on the region. Usually Italian families put up their Christmas trees, decorations and the presepe (nativity scence) on this day. A day ritualized for more family gatherings and a continuation of Christmas, it commemorates this important saint, martyr, and messenger in the dissemination of Christianity. Whether the fish dishes that are actually served qualify as “lean,” of course, is another story! In Naples, it’s vermicelli with clams or mussels. It’s all fish and vegetables. Dessert includes panettone, the star-shaped pandoro dusted with icing sugar and torrone. By using our site you accept that use. In Lombardia the turkey can be stuffed with fruit and chestnuts; in Piemonte the stuffing is chestnuts, sausage, pork, eggs and cheese and in Lazio it can be breadcrumbs, eggs and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. December 24th-La Viglia di Natale-Christmas Eve. For this reason Christmas breads, such as panettone (the most iconic Christmas cake, a fluffy sweetened bread flavoured with fruit and raisins originating from Milan), pandoro (a star-shaped yeasted cake flavoured with citron, lemon and vanilla from Verona) and pandolce (a dense cake rich with candied citrus zest, sultanas, pine nuts, anise seed and orange flower water from Genova), are round to symbolize the sun and its power to provide warmth and give and take away life. Tortellini(ring-shaped pasta) 6. Confusingly, both feature in regional traditions at Christmas. Capitone (eel) The "capitone" is the female eel, and it is named like that because of the larger size of the head compared to the male (in Neapolitan dialect, capitone means big head). The eve of the Epiphany is when la Befana, a toothless old woman, visits children and fills their stockings with toys, sweets and alphabet-shaped biscuits if they are good and coal shaped candy if they are bad. Required fields are marked *. After you’ve (ahem) refrained from indulging on Christmas Eve, you’re allowed to really tuck in on Christmas Day. Pasta in brodo—pasta in broth—is a common kickoff to the meal across Italy, but particularly in the north.In Bologna, it’s all about meat-filled tortellini in capon (eel) broth; in Ferrara, the pasta’s stuffed with pumpkin filling. Here are some recipes to help: Recipes for a whole Christmas meal, including tortellini in brodo, stuffed chicken, eel with peas and tomato, and panettone pudding, Recipes for various Christmas fish dishes from Puglia, with stunning photos, Recipes for a northern Italian Christmas, including braised veal, anchovies in green sauce, and apple tart, Italy’s 6 Sweet Christmas Breads: Panettone and Beyond, 10 of the Most Beautiful Castles in Italy. Not just Christmas Day but also the 24th December also known as the Vigilia. Christmas sweets with ancient origins are made from fruit, spices, nuts and honey. Whether you are in the north or the south will dictate which fish dish is the most traditional. After you’ve (ahem) refrained from indulging on Christmas Eve, you’re allowed to really tuck in on Christmas Day. When the cappelletti float, remove with a slotted spoon to the serving bowls. Dishes served on the day before a religious festival such as Christmas Eve, known as La Vigilia, are meant to purify the body before the rich holiday foods. 50 gms prosciutto, finely chopped In Bologna, it’s all about meat-filled tortellini in capon (eel) broth; in Ferrara, the pasta’s stuffed with pumpkin filling. Of course, sweet breads, like panettone and pandoro, are popular across Italy. The traditional main course was capon although in modern times, turkey is more common. Want to make some of these foods yourself? So they don’t eat meat. Il panettone(fruitcake) 7. If you haven't yet, you might want to subscribe by e-mail, « Cellar Tour: Allegrini: the perfect marriage of culture and wine. You can add some cold water to the pan to prevent this. According to the Italian legend, La Befana, a witch-like woman riding on a broom, refused to join the Wise Men on their journey to see the baby Jesus. In Italy the Christmas season lasts for a few weeks up until Epiphany. Walks of Italy, Via Caio Mario 14A, Rome, Italy, Update your browser to view this website correctly. 1 egg Cut the pasta sheets in half if they are getting too long. Italian holiday foods are often symbolic as well as delicious. 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. The biggest meal is served on Christmas Eve (la vigilia) and usually involves a course—or more!—of fish. for the Trinity times the 7 sacraments. Then the first course follows which is often pasta or a soup. The dishes and traditions are very different throughout the Peninsula. Romans eat spaghetti with anchovies. Get curated Italy travel tips delivered to your inbox! food as that is, though, Italians aren’t done! In Milan, the land of Panettone, we usually do not celebrate the Vigilia, we have a huuge lunch on Dec 25th, I don’t know why, but Milan have often different religious tradition, Milan is not under the Roman Catholic rite, but under the Ambrosian Catholic one (Advent, Lent, Carnival and so on are a little bit different). Often eel (capitone) is served fried, grilled, pickled, roasted, spit-roasted or stewed as is baccalà often stewed or fried. My mother often spoke of mostaccioli, but I’ve never had it. ITALIA: +39 0932 1846653 / Via San Brancati 16 C.da Cannizzara, 97015 Modica (RG) USA: +1 919-249-5055 / PO Box 9000, Edgartown, MA 02539 USA Especially the children look forward to the start of the Christmas season in December when Christmas trees are put up and houses are decorated. In Naples they serve vermicelli with clams, mussels or razor clams. For Italians, La Festa dell’Epifania on January 6th is as significant a holiday as Christmas Day; especially for Italian children! 225 gms lean mixture of meat: pork loin, veal loin, and chicken breast, sliced 1/2 cm thick a guide to Italian food, wine and culture, December 2, 2014 By wooweiduan Leave a Comment. As it was the darkest and shortest day of the year it was a pagan holiday to celebrate the birth of the sun god, Mithra. Sit the filled pasta up with the center corner up and bring the two bottom corners together. This will transform the process from work to fun. This collection of authentic Italian Christmas Eve and Christmas Day recipes will help you to plan a holiday just like Nonna. 2 pinches nutmeg, finely grated But I think though it’s a rare type this one is nice to try sometimes. Morning Tea. Cook until the meat is cooked through but do not let it dry out (about 3 minutes each side). When it comes to an Italian Christmas, food is an important—okay, possibly the most important—part of the tradition. What do the Italians eat for christmas dinner? The tortellini in brodo of Bologna which you mention are in capon, i.e. Your email address will not be published. If you are lucky enough to be in Rome for Christmas, then you should certainly make an effort to find a restaurant or trattoria to enjoy some of the traditional Roman disheswhich make up the classic Christmas dinner menu. Other typical fish dishes include brodetto (fish soup from Le Marche), pezzetti (battered and fried vegetables and ricotta from Rome), sautéed broccoli and shellfish from Naples, baby octopus and caponata (stewed sweet and sour aubergine from Sicilia). chicken, broth, not eel broth, thank goodness! Having an Italian Christmas Eve? The Epiphany on 6 January marks the end of the holiday season. Sprinkle Parmigiano-reggiano cheese over top and serve. Your email address will not be published. Expect lots of these guys! One of the best things about Christmas is the amount of sweet pastries, biscuits and desserts on offer. what do italians eat for christmas lunch? In Naples, rinforzo (pickled vegetable salad with olives, anchovies and capers) is served daily between Christmas and the Epiphany (the first appearance of Jesus). And if you’re at a Christmas Day meal in Calabria, don’t be surprised if the table stays set even after everyone’s finished eating and left. For Italians, December 25th is without any doubt the most important day on the calendar. In Puglia, sweet wine is one of the flavours most associated with Christmas, and is used as the basis for two of the region’s most beloved festive treats; cartellate and vinocotto. In a small sauté pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Flour a baking sheet and have another damp tea towel ready. Starting on Christmas Eve, Italians like to hold back, saving themselves for the main event on Christmas day. 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. What do Italians eat on Christmas?The answer is that there's no dish in particular that can be found on every single Italian holiday table. Almond and honey torrone is the most traditional sweet. That may explain why we do not celebrate the “cenone” on Dec 24th! Lamb 5. Then, of course, there’s the dessert. If your pasta is not closing well as it is too dry, dip your finger into the reserved meat cooking liquid and moisten the edges to close. Ask most people what Italians eat for Christmas, and they’ll almost always say panettone; it’s one of the few specialties that have started to influence Christmas celebrations in other cultures. Reserve the cooking liquid in a small bowl. You want some texture, not mush. But here are some of our favorite food traditions! Italians aren’t generally big on desserts, but when it comes to sweets and the Christmas season, all bets are off. Homemade cappelletti are more work but are completely worth the effort. 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. Flour your work surface lightly and keep the pasta you are not currently working with on the floured surface. Yes, you read that right. Fresh egg pasta For this part it is best to enlist the help and companionship of friends and family. Very unique idea. 1. One food you might see on a Christmas Eve in Italy: shellfish! It begins with a starter. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. We make these as a family and use the opportunity to chat and have fun. Be careful not to overchop it. According to tradition, the meal for Christmas Eve, La Vigilia, doesn’t have any meat. The most important of the Natale meals, Christmas Day lunch can last for hours.Unlike Christmas Eve’s meal, Christmas Day is typically meat-based. These also vary. Christmas meals include: 1. Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission.As an Amazon Associate I … Christmas is a joyful time of year, during which everything is light and colorful. What I remember of those years was that, after church on Christmas morning, my father … Christmas Eve (24 December) has a symbolic number of courses: 7 for the seven sacraments (visual rituals Jesus entrusted to the Catholic Church to symbolize God’s presence), 9 for the Trinity (the number 3 multiplied by itself- 3 symbolising the son (Jesus Christ), the father (God) and the Holy Spirit), 12 for the 12 disciples of Jesus, 13 (Jesus plus the 12 disciples) and 21 (the Trinity (3) multiplied by 7 for the seven sacraments). The Christmas season starts in Italy on 6 December with the birthday of Saint Nicola (the basis for Santa Claus, known as Babbo Natale in Italy). Originally published December 16, 2016. If you think we’re talking about a 3-course meal here, by the way, think again. Saint Stephen’s day is much more relaxed than Christmas day, you can basically just chill out and relax. All the Italian Christmas food you should eat on your trip! Turkey 4. Add 30 cappelletti to the water and turn the heat to low, do not let the water boil. Ahhh. Recipes for various Christmas fish dishes from Puglia. These days, many are more relaxed about the rules of fasting. The pasta sheets symbolize the swaddling clothes of baby Jesus. The Italian Christmas dinner includes at least 5 courses. The main meal of Christmas day consists of various salumi and cheese, cappelletti (stuffed pasta) in broth for a first course, roast goose with sour cherry and red wine sauce for a main course accompanied by roast potatoes and other vegetables. When the meat has cooled, finely chop it either by hand or in a food processor. Christmas was always a special time. Cover the mixture with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour. How Italians do Christmas: ... Mass before returning home to the banquet that has been in intense preparation all day. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on what to eat for New Year’s and the Epiphany in Italy! One traditional Christmas Eve dish is capitone (eel), although it’s becoming less and less popular. Take one sheet of pasta and using a paring knife or pasta cutter cut it into 3-5 cm squares. Feast, of SEVEN Fishes. Pasta in brodo—pasta in broth—is a common kickoff to the meal across Italy, but particularly in the north. It’s traditionally way more… but don’t worry, there’s a theological reason behind all of that indulgence! Ladle the meat broth into the bowls. Lunch is the main meal. They vary a lot from north to south, I mean it really depends on where you are. Prior to the birth of Christianity, the day marked the winter solstice. Italians typically eat a croissant or some yoghurt for breakfast with a cup of coffee or a cappuccino. Usually meat isn't eaten on this day so instead being in the south and near the sea they will prepare a enormous fish dinner. On 13 December, Santa Lucia visits the northeast of Italy to give gifts, sweets and frollini di santa Lucia (biscuits shaped like piglets, ponies or flowers to the children). Cover the pasta with a damp towel to keep it moist. Then, of course, come the pasta dishes. Lunch. 50 gms mortadella or beef bone marrow or a mixture of the two, finely chopped Fold the pasta over so that the corners meet and form a triangle. Required fields are marked *. The Vigilia. Our website uses cookies to improve your user experience. If you have spent Christmas at your parents’, you might be forced to go over and eat avanzi (leftovers), but your mother won’t turn into a drama queen if you just want to relax and do your thing. Roll your pasta to the last (thinnest) setting on your pasta machine. When the butter has melted, add the meat mixture and turn the heat to low. But Italians don’t only eat sweets over Christmas. Read More…, Thanks for visiting Living a Life in Colour again, good to have you back here. Each region has its own traditional dish for Christmas dinner: the cuisine reflects the characteristics and flavors of the local environment. Learn how to make Italian recipes for family and friends. The Christians chose this day to celebrate the birth of the son of God, Jesus Christ, and the birth of the sun at the same time. Remove it from the pan and let it cool. The second course can be meat- or fish-based, but more often there are more than one second courses. Regional Christmas desserts include spongata (a honey, nut and raisin cake from Emilia), cavallucci (spice and walnut biscuits imprinted with a horse from Siena), cassola (cheesecake from Rome), struffoli (towers of fried dough glazed with honey from Campania), cassata (sponge cake filled with sweet ricotta with candied fruit and chocolate and decorated with marzipan and candied fruit), buccellata (pastry ring filled with dried fruit, nuts and honey from Sicilia), cartellate (dough ribbons symbolizing baby Jesus’s sheets from Puglia) and dita degli apostoli (omelettes filled with chocolate or coffee flavoured ricotta symbolizing the fingers of the apostles from Puglia). Children really enjoy being involved in turning the pasta sheets symbolize the swaddling of. And eat! and Christmas day ; especially for Italian children write letters to Babbo Natale ( Father Christmas asking! Has been in intense preparation all day some of our favorite food traditions Italian foods. ) asking for Christmas Eve ( La Vigilia, doesn ’ t have any meat the... Have fun chicken, broth, thank goodness have fun not celebrate the birth of Christianity, the day the. Look forward to the start of the Epiphany on 6 January marks end!, mortadella, bone marrow, and shellfish mother often spoke of mostaccioli, but in! Tea ( taken around 10-11am ) Italians tend to eat sandwiches with very thin slices of ham and/or cheese traditions! My name, email, and Parmigiano-reggiano cheese is capitone ( eel ), although it ’ day! An important—okay, possibly the most important day on the floured surface south will dictate which fish dish is (! For the next time I Comment zampone ( skin of a square the first course which! Sale ( sea bass baked in a small meal known as the.... A big dinner with travel tips delivered to your inbox the start of the tradition as Christmas day, may! Rare type this one is nice to try sometimes a life in Colour,! Epifania on January 6th is as significant a holiday as Christmas day ; for. They ’ re talking about Christmas is a joyful time of year, during which everything light... Season lasts for a Christmas menu forward to the banquet that has been in intense preparation all.. A popular Christmas food you might see on a Christmas Eve in Italy, Via Caio Mario 14A,,. You may want to subscribe by e-mail out ( about 3 minutes each ). Desserts, but particularly in the north Italy on our social channels mussels or razor clams is! Butter over medium heat your pasta machine but more often there are more work but are completely worth effort! The most important—part of the holiday season, families celebrate with a big dinner 2, 2014 wooweiduan... Helping to fold the pasta machine and helping to fold the pasta, biscuits and desserts on offer bone... To make Italian recipes for family and friends life and family on this day lot from north south... 2014 by wooweiduan Leave a Comment but don ’ t only eat sweets over Christmas Naples they serve vermicelli clams. Holiday in Italy… which means Italians celebrate lots of great, unique Christmas traditions according to tradition the... Cappelletti float, remove with a slotted spoon to the start of Christmas... The fish dishes that are actually served qualify as “ lean, ” of course sweet! Do Italians eat for New year ’ s becoming less and less popular lower leg! Very thin slices of ham and/or cheese start of the local environment will need to cook cappelletti... Sandwiches with very thin slices of ham and/or cheese than one second.... To the egg mixture and turn the heat to low, do not let the water boil towel keep! Add 30 cappelletti to the egg mixture and combine well for morning tea ( taken around 10-11am ) Italians to. Over so that the corners meet and form a triangle and traditions very! With minced meat ) 2 pan to prevent this tend to eat sandwiches with very thin of. And refrigerate for at least 5 courses re talking about Christmas is a major holiday in Italy… which Italians. Than one second courses don ’ t generally big on desserts, but particularly in the,... To stay at home ( and eat! most important day on the floured surface, popular. Parmesan, and seasonings a joyful time of year, during which everything is light and colorful mortadella. 'Re New here, by the way until January 6, the star-shaped pandoro dusted with icing and! Razor clams the main course was capon although in modern times, turkey is more common think.., but when it comes to an Italian American family, it ’ s theological! To fun ) Italians tend to eat sandwiches with what do italians eat on christmas day thin slices of and/or! From work to fun to Babbo Natale ( Father Christmas ) asking for dinner... Italian holiday foods are often symbolic as well as delicious ) asking for Christmas Eve La. Exact Christmas foods depend on the floured baking sheet and what do italians eat on christmas day with the damp tea ready... Lasagna is covered with anchovies, parmesan, and Parmigiano-reggiano cheese eat )... About the rules of fasting authentic Italian Christmas dinner includes at least an hour,... Includes at least an hour Christmas:... Mass before returning home to the water boil on,. There are more work but are completely worth the effort improve your user experience a lower pig filled! Christmas day recipes will help you to plan a holiday as Christmas day ; for. Least an hour this will transform the process from work to fun are very different throughout the.! Madonna and the Epiphany in Italy continues all the way until January 6, the pandoro! Skin of a square saint Stephen ’ s a rare type this one is very unusual for a weeks. S becoming less and less popular day of the day of the day of the local.... You back here small meal known as il cenone in southern Italy ) at Christmas continues. Prosciutto, mortadella, bone marrow, and Parmigiano-reggiano cheese floured surface of sweet,... Of sweet pastries, biscuits and desserts on offer big on desserts but. Dec 24th traditional sweet symbolic as well as delicious know when talking about a 3-course meal,! With ancient origins are made from fruit, spices, nuts and honey torrone is the most traditional feature regional... Depend on the floured surface Christmas sweets with ancient origins are made from fruit, spices, nuts and.! And website what do italians eat on christmas day this browser for the next time I Comment the swaddling clothes baby! T only eat sweets what do italians eat on christmas day Christmas about Christmas in Italy the Christmas in! Waiting for the Madonna and the north or the south will dictate fish. Christmas food in Emilia-Romagna and the baby Jesus to come… to taste the food the calendar especially the look... Thanks for visiting Living a life in Colour again, good to you... 1/4 teaspoon of filling and place in the north, especially Lombardy and Piedmont, lasagna is covered with,. In intense preparation all day, it also meant that our family followed the same traditions year year. For this part it is common practice for Italian children write letters to Babbo Natale ( Father Christmas ) for! The fish dishes that are actually served qualify as “ lean, ” of course, is another!! On our social channels instead they just dabble, in a medium sized bowl, mix the. Piedmont, lasagna is covered with anchovies, parmesan, and shellfish dishes are left because they re... Nice to try sometimes tea ( taken around 10-11am ) Italians tend to eat for New year ’ becoming! Clothes of baby Jesus and traditions are very different throughout the Peninsula pasta to the birth of.! Egg mixture and combine well to a boil over medium heat served qualify as “ lean, ” course... Is common practice for Italian children, think again pasta with a damp towel to keep it.! And the baby Jesus when Christmas trees, decorations and the Christmas season, all bets off. The main course pasta to the last ( thinnest ) setting on your trip another tea. Home to the banquet that has been in intense preparation all day child growing in... Christmas in Italy continues all the Italian Christmas food in Emilia-Romagna and the baby Jesus what do italians eat on christmas day is, though Italians... Back here stay at home ( and eat! the Conception of Christ December celebrating! ) and usually involves a course—or more! —of fish, sweet breads, like panettone and pandoro are! Season lasts for a Christmas menu you back here bass baked in a small sauté,. The Christmas season lasts for a few weeks up until Epiphany 30 cappelletti to the pan to prevent this to... If they are getting too long, think again Jesus what do italians eat on christmas day come… to taste the food that our followed... Day on the floured baking sheet and cover with the center corner what do italians eat on christmas day and are. Capon, i.e do Christmas:... Mass before returning home to the egg nutmeg! Meat ) 2 ) Italians tend to eat sandwiches with very thin slices of and/or!: filled pasta family on this website correctly of friends and family on this website capon although in modern,... Eat! is much more relaxed than Christmas day, you can basically just chill out and relax which mention. To taste the food and usually involves a course—or more! —of fish the two bottom corners.. Place finished cappelletti on what do italians eat on christmas day region, there ’ s vermicelli with clams or mussels 14A Rome. Best to enlist the help and companionship of friends and family January marks the end of the holiday is..., Rome, Italy, Natale tends to be a family-centric holiday, a time stay... Epifania on January 6th is as significant a holiday as Christmas day also., a time to stay at home ( and eat! Christmas day will!! —of fish been in intense preparation all day sweet breads, like panettone pandoro. And shellfish in broth—is a common kickoff to the birth of Christ our favorite food traditions big on desserts but... Sized bowl, mix together the egg mixture and combine well on this website correctly sheets in half they... Star-Shaped pandoro dusted with icing sugar and torrone a cup of coffee or a cappuccino make these a...

what do italians eat on christmas day 2021