The View National Express Autumn 2017 - 91

YULETIDE FEASTS

ITALY
The Italians are known
the world over for their
tasty pasta recipes and pizza,
but the festive season sees them
savouring less globally renowned
fare. Locals don't usually eat meat
on Christmas Eve, instead opting
for The Feast of th=e Seven Fishes
before heading out to Midnight
Mass. The types of fish and how
they are served varies between the
different regions but there could
be anything from fried eel and
octopus to salted cod and clams.
Christmas Day lunch kicks
off with some kind of pasta
in broth. In Bologna, it's likely
to be meat-filled tortellini in eel
broth while in Ferrara, the pasta
is usually stuffed with pumpkin.
While eel has long been the

◆

traditional main Christmas Day
dish, turkey and stuffing has
become an increasingly popular
choice in recent years.
On the dessert front, panettone
- the dry, sometimes fruity, breadlike sponge cake - is often served
with a cup of hot chocolate,
especially after a bout of carol
singing, when children play songs
on shepherds' pipes, wearing
sandals and hats.
Food also plays a central role
in New Year's celebrations in
Italy, with lentils, sausages and
grapes taking pride of place. To
Italians, lentils symbolise wealth
and prosperity. The sausage meat
(or stuffed pigs' trotters in some
parts of Italy) also symbolises
good fortune for the coming year.
And the last dinner of the year is
rounded off with grapes.

Italians
believe the round,
flat shape and golden
brown colour of
lentils means they
resemble gold
coins.

91



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