In the Cucina with La Gazzetta: The Christmas Eel

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dalla cucina di Diana Lucarino-Diekmann

Truth be told, I hate eels! Eels are elongated fish, found in both ocean and freshwater environments that can deliver a nasty bite if you offer your hand. However, they are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids and contain a good amount of minerals. Much of the eel in the world is endangered due to overfishing and changing habitats.

Our likes and dislikes of food, as well as other things in our lives, stem from our experiences with that food, especially our first experience with it. That is the story of my relationship with eel. Suffice it to say, it was not a good experience.

Each province of Italy has its own Christmas traditions. In Naples, one of the most popular is serving capitone (smaller, male eel) or anguilla (much longer and larger female) on la Vigilia di Natale. This tradition is especially prevalent among Catholics in southern, coastal Italy where fresh seafood is so readily available.

The ancient tradition of eating fish on la cena della Vigilia comes from


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