Brace your-elves, our Italian Christmas Menu is here!
The nights are drawing in, the Christmas lights will soon be up and before you know it, the Christmas festivities will be in full swing. We’ve already welcomed the festivities at Cucina Rustica! Our Christmas Menu is live on our website and will be available throughout December. But have you ever wondered what a traditional Christmas is like in Italy? Keep reading to find out!
TRADITIONAL MEALS IN ITALY AT CHRISTMAS
There is no single answer to ‘What do Italians eat at Christmas?’ Each region has its own traditional dish for Christmas dinner, and each family has their own take on every meal; all reflecting the flavours of its surroundings and generational traditions.
Though, one thing Italians all have in common at Christmas is an incredible feast enjoyed around a well-laden table, that brings the whole family together. With food being such an important part to the festive season in Italy, and Italian culture in general, we figured it’d only be right to explore some of the nation’s favourite festive culinary traditions.
CHRISTMAS EVE MEAL
As is the tradition in Italy, the Christmas Eve meal, La Vigilia, consists of mainly fish and vegetables, with no meat. This follows the tradition that all meals served on the eve of any religious festival should be lean and low in fat, to help purify your body for the holiday.
We have thoughtfully placed a fishy starter and a fishy main on our Christmas Menu, should you want to eat like an Italian on Christmas Eve. Our Rotoli Di Salmone (smoked salmon rolls filled with white crabmeat and avocado puree) is a perfect start to a fishy feast. Whilst our Branzino (seabass fillet with limoncello, cream, saffron and mussels) is a great dish to add more of Italy’s favourite seafood picks to your festivities.
In Italy, Il Cenone di Vigilia (the Christmas Eve Dinner) is sometimes known as ‘The Feast of the Seven Fishes’, with not all families sticking to exactly seven; some may even go up to 11 or 12! Who knows, our fishy dishes may inspire you to create your own ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’ this Christmas Eve!
CHRISTMAS DAY MEAL
All families interpret ‘the rules’ of Christmas Dinner differently, based on the availability of ingredients in each region, and their favourite old recipes passed down the generations. But one thing is the same throughout the country at Christmas – the importance of the feast.
Traditionally, the first course is usually a broth or pasta dish. This is reflected in our selection of Starters available on our Christmas Menu. Zuppa Di Castagne; a creamy chestnut soup, with almond flakes, truffle oil, and crispy pancetta, could really hit the spot and warm you up on a wintery evening. Or why not try our Ravioli Di Ricotta; spinach and ricotta cheese ravioli, served in a cream sauce with garden peas, to really give you a feel for an authentic Italian Christmas?
The second course is usually a perfectly seasoned meat dish, making it impossible to go hungry. Our Christmas Mains have some great winter-warming meat options up for grabs to reflect Italian Christmas tradition. Our Tagliata Di Filetto; prime sliced fillet of beef, seasoned with thyme, rosemary, oregano and brandy, served with cream and peppercorn sauce, is a delightful dish to get you in the mood for Christmas. Whilst our Cosciotto D’Agnello; slow braised lamb shank in a winter vegetable ragout, could be more up your street. All main courses are served with mixed winter vegetables and, of course, roast potatoes!
Our traditional Panna Cotta or Tiramisu, for dessert, would be the perfect sweet ending to your Italian Christmas experience.
You can view our full Christmas Menu HERE
We have the perfect location to enjoy some authentic, festive Italian food here at Cucina Rustica. Overlooking St. Paul’s Church in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, our beautiful space offers a relaxed atmosphere, suitable for every kind of occasion this winter. So, whether you’re joining us for a pre-Christmas gathering with friends and family, or a festive corporate do, our Christmas menu, location and venue are perfectly suited!