Holiday Traditions

US Wealth Napolitano |

Thanksgiving is about food, family, and friends. For me, the next set of holidays is about traditions. Whether keeping the old or creating new traditions is what keeps our family so close. 

As part of an Italian family (my mother’s maiden name being Moscardelli) we have many old and new traditions. Christmas doesn't start on Dec 25th because it is all about the night before, 'The Eve.'

Typically, we gather at the largest house in the family for the Italian seven fish dinner. It is a potluck style dinner and everyone is required to bring something. We also make sure we have at least 7 fish. My favorite and least enjoyable dishes come from my Aunt Alice. She brings the world renowned Pasta Aioli - a buttery garlic anchovy pasta. The balance between the butter and salt from the anchovies plus hint of garlic and cheese make it a taste like no other. However, she also comes with small bone in smelts - disgusting! It is the fish taste you never want and have to brush your teeth 10 times to get rid of. No Thanks, I will pass for the 20th year in a row. 

After Christmas morning and towards the end of the day I can find one of my favorite traditions. I don’t know why I enjoy it so much, but maybe it reminds me of the snowy mornings with my family when I was a child. It is a traditional Italian baked cookie (usually given at Easter) with a hard-boiled egg in the middle. The cookie is called Pupa cu L’ova. To paint a better picture, imagine a pancake cookie base with a single hard-boiled egg in the shell in the middle. Then take two long pieces of dough and create an X over the egg connecting back to the end of the base of the cookie. It is frosted then sprinkles are added to the top for decoration.

It may sound awful to most people - but I look forward to it each and every year. It is not a cookie, nor a cake, but somewhere in between. We hope next time we see you or speak to you that you can share a tradition that is as old as the seven fish or as new as the one you plan to create this year. 

This article was written by Alexander G. Weiss