[Thoughts on the Table – 63] Italian and Italian-American Christmas Traditions, with Nick Zingale

Christmas episode

Hello and Happy Holidays!

My friend and recurring guest Nick Zingale is back on the show with his great storytelling to talk about Christmas and the way he and his Italian-American family celebrated it over the years: from the anticipation leading up to Christmas Eve, to the Feast of the Seven Fishes, to the many family gatherings. In the episode, I also share my Christmas memories from growing up in northern Italy, with a special emphasis on the food.

This post’s featured image was derived from “Christmas Tree Fruit” by Sergé, licensed under Creative Commons.

     
Paolo

Author: Paolo

Now based in the UK, Paolo is an Italian who lived in Canada for nearly 18 years and blogs about Italian food and its many aberrations.

3 thoughts on “[Thoughts on the Table – 63] Italian and Italian-American Christmas Traditions, with Nick Zingale”

  1. Paolo, You made with laugh—back in the day, I remember the older generation in my family put the nativity scene under the Christmas tree, just as you described! We still have both a nativity scene and a tree, though each have their own place now.

    And I’m definitely on Team Panettone… 🙂

    1. Haha, my wife said that her French-Canadian roommate used to do the same – I’m starting to think this practice must be quite common. Team Panettone is the best, BTW 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  2. Team panettone for me too-although pandoro makes delicious French toast. Paolo I posted my panettone recipe last week so you can make your own now. I will have to make you some pizzelle! I have the old-school pizzelle iron that goes right on the flame. We also have a seafood feast for la vigilia, but no specific # of dishes. The ‘feast of the 7 fishes is definitely an Italian American thing. I don’t know anyone in Canada or Italy who has heard of it. We have insalata di polpo e calamari and because we are in Canada, smoked salmon. For primo we usually have risotto ai frutti di mare, then baccalà, calamari and gamberoni. Our dolci are very Pugliese- cartellate, cauzuncill’, pettole, crustoli, and then we always have panettone, but no mascarpone. No I can start thinking about next year! Oh and when we first moved to a Canada the presepio was under he tree too! Then when we got more pieces they had to be separated. I have my wise men under the tree right now, since they don’t arrive in the presepio until Jan 6 th. Buon anno, Cristina

What do you think? Please leave a comment