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The Feast of the Seven Fishes

Abstaining from eating meat on Christmas Eve has been a tradition for hundreds of years in the Roman Catholic religion. Without the availability to eat meat, people turned to seafood for these days of abstinence. Eventually the tradition to eat seafood every Christmas Eve was born and with it hundreds of family recipes and dishes passed on over time. Although the tradition has been celebrated by families for decades, the name "Feast of the Seven Fishes" wasn't coined until 1983 in the Philadelphia Inquirer.


There are no set rules or requirements for the feast, as families passed on different recipes and family traditions to their sons and daughters over the generations. Some of the most common types of seafood are featured below but are in no way the only types of seafood sought after.


Salted Cod | Baccala

Baccala is one of the most sought after items for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. It is often purchased already filleted, however we also have bone in salted cod available as well. Salted Cod is one of the more labor intensive seafoods on the list because there are a few steps to go through before you can prepare it. The most important step is soaking it in cold water to draw out as much salt as possible.


Gulf of Mexico Shrimp

Shrimp are a must have for traditional Christmas meal! Available with the shell on or the shell off, we have plenty of different sizes for purchase either frozen or thawed. Shrimp for the holidays are most commonly prepared boiled and served as cocktail but the possibilities are endless. Our family loves them in a shrimp dip to snack on before dinner as well.



Many people like our family in the Midwest grew up eating fried lake fish like walleye and yellow perch. Smelts were no exception and almost always included on the table. Many people also enjoy ocean smelts as they are often larger and easier to bread and fry. Don't forget your favorite tartar sauce to dip them in fresh out of the fryer!

Squid | Calamari

One of the most commonly sought after items for the Feast of the Seven Fishes is Calamari. Many people still cook it the traditional way in red sauce, often stuffed with cheese or vegetables. Cut into rings and deep fried is out families preferred way to eat squid and it's becoming more popular every year.

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