Christmas in Italy is right around the corner, and once again we’ll be going to Zio Carlo’s for Christmas Eve lunch.
Food is an important part holiday celebrations all over the world, but in a country as famous for its love of all things edible, Natale can be over the top.
And even dangerous. I am from Wisconsin where we are known unflatteringly for our silhouette, but in Italy I am usually full to the seams half way through
Since we’ve moved down to L’Aquila from Milan about eight years ago, we’ve had a standing invitation to Zio Carlo’s house for both the evening of the 24th and the 25th (and this being Abruzzo, Christmas eve dinner has a way of lasting all the way to the feast of Saint Steven.
Zio Carlo and Zia Luciana host quite a feast along with their son Pierfrancesco and daughter Antonella. Great homemade food (even the bread), course after course, warm conversation up until Midnight, when we all gather in the living room as the youngest among us puts Baby Jesus in the Presepio, (crèche) and we exchange gifts.
And so much great food, mostly seafood. What did we have last year? Smoked Salmon, marinated octopus, an amazing salad of rucola, smoked salmon and pomegranate seeds, steamed mussels, the obligatory but scrumptious tortellini in home made chicken and beef broth…then I think I blacked out.
Dante’s third circle of hell it is not. Uncomfortable heaven?
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