Every Christmas Eve across the country, many families gather for an elaborate, multi-course meal known as Festa dei sette pesci—Feast of the Seven Fishes. It's an Italian-American tradition with a hotly contested origin story and a few unanswered questions (no one is quite sure why the number of dishes was set at seven, but perhaps for the number of sacraments in Catholic tradition). That said, one thing that's for sure: A massive seafood spread during the holiday season is a tradition worth embracing, whether or not you’re of Italian descent.
But for those of us without days upon days to prepare seven thoughtful, intricate seafood dishes as we’re also hurriedly shopping for last minute gifts and, you know, working, there’s another approach: hosting a non-traditional party honoring the Feast of the Seven Fishes with tinned seafood.
Tinned seafood, the majority of which is imported from Spain or Portugal, is having a real moment, as lovers of all-things-briny have swapped their mental image of seafood-in-a-can from the less-than-appetizing stuff to gorgeously illustrated, thoughtfully packaged jewel boxes of oceanic delight. And not only are tinned mussels, clams, tuna, squid and the like all delicious—they’re also packed with Omega-3s and calcium. It really doesn’t get more win-win than that.