Introduction The Eve Of Seven Fishes
Christmas Cooking in the Peasant Tradition
Born in Greensburg, Pa., I grew up in the section of the city known as "Hilltop" or Little Italy.
The Italian kitchen has always been the heart of the Italian home and as a child; I would go to DeBone’s Market or DeLallo’s Market with my mother to buy the ingredients for the feast known to all Italians as the "Eve of Seven Fishes".
This is not a cookbook with fancy ingredients or recipes with fancy titles. This cookbook is about the Cercesi people, the practical cuisine of my peasant heritage and to honor my ancestors for their holiday traditions.
I wanted to make sure the pride and tradition of my ancestors lived on for future generations. My desire to do this was a little difficult. As I sought out the recipes, I realized it was a little bit of that and a little bit of this or until it looks right!
Christmas Eve in the Italian Tradition cast a very special kind of happiness whether you are young or old. No wonder, nothing is more tantalizing than the smell of garlic and fish cooking or the look of the plated table so beautifully set with the colors of Christmases past.
Despite the distance to the homeland, I yearn to get back to the hills of my ancestors and the exquisite simplicity of the lifestyle they so dearly enjoy. The people of Cercemaggiore are always eager to remind me, Americans are only worried about how high their grass is!
Buona Fortuna e Buona Cottura,
-Robert A. Germano
copyright2005©Robert A. Germano