The holiday season is upon us, and Italian cities are all twinkly and lit up. The weather has gotten suddenly colder, contributing to the festive mood. But the best way Italians honor the season is gathering around the table and feasting on holiday foods.
Tasty celebrations in Italy normally begin on December 8th with the Festa dell’Immacolata, during which large mugs of hot chocolate are enjoyed by the blazing fireplace.
Next on the calendar is the Feast of Santa Lucia, when Sicilians traditionally honor the Patron Saint of Catania by devouring arancini.
On Christmas Eve Italian-American families and southern Italian locals share a common menu made up of fish and seafood. Read about what dishes and what wine pairings make up the Feast fo the Seven Fishes.
On Christmas Day, the northern Italian side of my family will be making traditional tortellini in brodo and bollito misto. Bagnèt vert and bagnèt ros––the sauces that complement this elaborate meat dish––are simple to make. Just follow nonna’s recipe.
If baking cookies is more your thing, try making authentic buccellati from Sicily.
Italians finish off the year with a celebratory meal that involves lentils. Find out what other luck-endearing food practices we adopt on December 31st at midnight!
Photos ©Ti-Press/Carlo Reguzzi – ChocolateCodex – Buonissimo
Eleonora Baldwin is a TV host, journalist, and culinary connoisseur based in Rome, Italy. Her writing appears in several food and travel publications. Her show “ABCheese” is broadcast on Italian food network Gambero Rosso. She loves guiding culturally curious, food-passionate travellers seeking experiences in Italy beyond the guidebook.