The different traditions
From North to South the habits of celebrating Christmas are different. In the North, that is from Florence and up, we celebrate lunch on December 25th, while in the rest of the boot the festivities begin on 24. ( www.elle.it ) In the South we sit down at the table in the late afternoon, and wait for the birth of Jesus tasting mixed fried fish dishes and dried fruit. All abundantly watered with wines, sparkling wine and the so-called digestive liqueurs, while playing cards and bingo. The next day we return to the table for lunch, which includes no less than six courses, certainly not light. On the 26th, that is the day of Santo Stefano, the menu is lighter, because it cooks the meat broth in which to dip tortellini or other types of pasta depending on the region. As for desserts, typical are the panettone and pandoro, which are consumed a bit ‘throughout Italy, while in Naples you can also eat struffoli and roccocò (crispy sweet donuts flavored). Typical of Genoa is the sweet pan.
Typical dishes of the North
In the North the evening of December 24, it is customary to go to Mass and exchange good wishes in the company of a good mulled wine ( www.saporie.com ). When you sit down to dinner you eat a seafood dinner, but there are also exceptions to the rule. For example, in Val D’Aosta the carbonade is prepared, a sort of meat macerated in red wine and then cooked in a pan. In Piedmont dominate ravioli and agnolotti, while in Lombardy tagliolini with shrimps and fish ravioli with lobster, salmon and lobster, accompanied by mayonnaise. In Veneto the cornioi are cooked, that is the snails with white wine, garlic, butter, oil and parsley. In Emilia Romagna, pumpkin tortelli or spaghetti with sardines.
The typical dishes of central Italy
In Tuscany the night of the 24 is cooked the bardiccio, that is a pork sausage with fennel, but you can not miss the caciucco (a dish based on mixed fish). In the Marche and Umbria, fish will be cooked in various ways, but above all fried! Abruzzo is the kingdom of cod and fried capon. In Lazio, the culinary tradition focuses on fried vegetables.
Rich typical southern dishes
Going down the boot we arrive at the South, where the dishes become even richer and the number of courses increases. For example in Basilicata the meal consists of thirteen courses, all strictly based on fish. In Puglia the fried fish and the pettole are the main ingredients, a sort of fried pasta seasoned with anchovies or sauce. In Naples reigns the fried capon, mixed fried prawns and calamari, and to reinforce a salad with cauliflowers, capers, anchovies and peppers.
In the extreme South, that is in Calabria, the Christmas dinner menu consists of vegetable soups and stoccafisso with artichokes. In Sicily we must distinguish between the western part, where the sardines and timbales of rice are prepared, from the eastern one, where instead the dominant dish is the scacce, that is focaccias filled with vegetables served hot, accompanied by meat and cheese. Finally for Christmas Eve in Sardinia they prepare the ravioli of pecorino and chard, and the fregola, that is a cous-cous seasoned with clams.
Our restaurant is open both on the 24th and 25th of December and for the occasion it has integrated its menu with many dishes, including traditional ones.