The Feast of Seven Fishes, or the Festa dei Sette Pesci, is the traditional dinner that many southern Italian and Italian-American families will sit down to this Christmas Eve. (It is also one of the few appropriate times to pluralize fish as fishes.)
The significance of the number seven reels in many different theories: Some families say it's for the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, others say it's for the seven hills of Rome, and still others say it represents the days of creation or stands as a reminder of the seven deadly sins. Other families' traditions even allow for 10 or even 14 different aquatic dishes.
And just as the numeric explanations are allowed loose translations, so are the types of seafood served. The true meaning isn't in the number or kind you choose, but with whom you decide to share your feast.
This Christmas Eve, Alex Guarnaschelli, chef of Butter in New York City and Food Network star, encourages you to serve the humble sardine atop lightly fried cauliflower, an ode to her mother's Sicilian roots.
Fresh sardines - not the pungent, little canned guys - are delicious, inexpensive and sustainable, three wise choices for this holiday season.
Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
Every year there are endless wine columns about what to pair with a holiday meal. They take three main forms: What to pair with turkey; what to pair with everything else, since turkey has no taste; and “This year, be off-the-wall and try X,” X being anything from Beaujolais to Riesling to Maine blueberry wine.
Enough is enough. This holiday season, here’s an idea. Don’t worry about pairing a specific wine with your meal. Instead, since the holidays are all about giving thanks (at least that’s the idea, right?), why not extend that sentiment a little and pour a wine that’s about giving back?
There are a growing number of charity-friendly wines out there, and here are a few that would be particularly good with a special holiday dinner - or really, with any meal at all.
Before you tuck in to your gravy-drenched, slow-roasted turkey this Thanksgiving, you might want to give thanks that you’re not circling above the earth at 17,500 miles per hour. Forget for a moment that you probably couldn’t even keep the food down in microgravity – would you be willing to trade those creamy mashed potatoes or Grandma’s green been casserole for something freeze-dried and wrapped in plastic?
For six astronauts currently working more than 200 miles above the surface of the earth, that choice is easy, as freeze-dried, irradiated and thermostablized food items are their only options. Luckily for them, food scientist Vickie Kloeris and her team at NASA have developed shelf-stable Thanksgiving meals to celebrate the holiday on the International Space Station. First though, they had to figure out a way to make the food taste good in space.
“One of our biggest challenges is that crew members in orbit do report that they feel like their taste buds are somewhat dulled,” Kloeris told CNN from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
The big news this Thanksgiving is the bad weather that’s threatening to be bad news for people’s holiday travel plans.
Which means you might need to go to Plan B for T-Day dinner. Happily, there are a ton of good choices across the country where you can dig into turkey but also find options for anyone who loathes the traditional meal.
Some of these places will even let you celebrate Thanksgivukkah (the trademarked term for the double whammy occurrence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, which won’t happen again for 70,000-plus years).
Jamie Ordonez is one of the lucky retail employees who will enjoy Thanksgiving Day without having to rush to work. But a brother-in-law who works at Medieval Times isn't as lucky.
The Lyndhurst, New Jersey, castle is open for a 5 p.m. show on Thanksgiving Day, which means Ordonez's family is eating dinner around noon to accommodate his schedule. And, it's not the only Thanksgiving Day joust on the calendar; shows are scheduled in all nine Medieval Times castles in North America, with most offering discounted tickets.
upwave is Turner Broadcasting's new lifestyle brand designed to entertain the health into you! Visit upwave.com for more information and follow upwave on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram (@upwave). Keri Glassman MS, RD, CDN is a nationally recognized nutrition expert and published author.
Many people can relate to the nostalgia of Thanksgiving. There is something so wonderful and comforting about having the same meal, in the same home, at the same table, off of the same plates, year after year. If you are a die-hard sentimentalist, it is really challenging to have even the smallest disruption to the celebration.
If, on the other hand, you are ready to make your Thanksgiving a little more contemporary and a little more modern, I have recommendations to honor your grandmother’s Thanksgiving, but with a healthy twist.
Such a calendar occurrence won't happen again for approximately 70,000 years, so professional and home cooks alike have crossbred the respective culinary traditions with the fervor of 1,000 turduckens.
America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.
Perhaps you tried a deep-fried recipe once and was disappointed at the greasy/burned/undercooked/otherwise unappetizing results, or maybe frying has always seemed like an intimidating prospect. Don't lose hope.
We assure you that hot, crisp, golden, non-greasy, deliciously fried food is achievable by any level of cook armed with the right knowledge. Below we've answered eight common frying conundrums. Here's your opportunity to give frying a go.
Got Thanksgiving questions? There's a good chance that our panel of experts has answers.
Join Eatocracy editors Kat Kinsman and Sarah LeTrent - and their special guests, cookbook author and host of The Farm on Public Television Ian Knauer and vegan cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz - for a Google Hangout at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 26.