There’s nothing quite like Christmas. The lights, the snow, the presents. The stories passed down generation to generation in front of a cozy fire, blankets wrapped tight and cocoa piping hot. Feelings of warmth and togetherness, and most of all, the feeling of giving. Carols, classic films, and treasured family favorites are shared throughout the holiday season. Every family, every culture, every person sees Christmas through a unique lens of wonder and splendor. Oh, what a wonderful time of year!
Christmas season is much anticipated as one of Italy’s most celebrated holidays. Natale is an exciting occasion to cook up some best-loved family recipes, to dine with friends and family and to be merry, of course.
In Italy, Christmas Eve dinner is traditionally lighter with no meat and a lot of seafood. After they’ve refrained from indulging on Christmas Eve, Italians are allowed to really tuck in on Christmas Day which is typically meat-based. The Christmas Day lunch can last for hours.
Like everything else in Italy, exact Christmas foods depend on the region. But here are some of Italians’ favorite musts all included in the La Box di Natale: la classica
Neapolitan Salame is made from pork meat combined with fat that is seasoned with pepper. This deep red colored Salami is typically stuffed into a casing and dry-cured for several months however, it may also be smoke-cured. Very spicy in flavor, Neapolitan Salami is unique dry sausages that are produced in the manner of artisan foods from the rural regions in and around the province of Napoli. These regions provide an enjoyable Salami to serve as spicy snacks, appetizers or luncheon meat, as well as being a tasty salami to add as an ingredient in numerous pasta dishes.
Taralli (or tarallini) is one of the most iconic and widely consumed foods of Puglia. Moreish and versatile, they work well as a snack at all times of the day. They are also perfect served with wine or cocktails at aperitivo time – especially if accompanied by cheese and salami – and can substitute or substantiate a breadbasket.
Pecorino simply means sheep’s milk cheese, and there are varieties from all over Italy. This one comes from Tuscany produced with pure sheep's milk with the addition of almonds. The cheese is white with pieces of almonds inside, has a characteristic flavor of freshly milked milk, with the characteristic flavor of these healthy nuts. This cheese is excellent when eaten alone, accompanied by a good prosecco such as Villa Selli Extra Dry.
This sparkling, fresh and youthful wine comes from the Veneto region. It has a pale yellow color. At the nose is very fragrant and aromatic with notes of apple, acacia blossom and honey. The mouth is soft and balanced with a fresh and fruity finish.
Gragnano's pasta is as the majority of food around Naples artisanal and produced locally with 100% Italian hard durum wheat semolina. Its bronze dies extrusion and long drying create incredible texture and porousness for catching sauce.
This versatile tomato basil sauce can be used either just by itself or in different recipes ranging from simple pasta dishes to other recipes like eggplant involtini and chicken parmesan. It is a delicious fast and easy sauce full of fresh tomatoes, basil, and spices. Perfect over a festive bowl of al dente Pasta.
A lot of work and waiting weeks before sampling the product of the toil, but it is so good, really better than the preserved sold at the store. Jarred artichokes are one of the Italian classics. So good and popular because they’re almost always marinated and, thus, flavorful. Every time you eat an artichoke, you're dining on something the ancient Roman nobility used to keep for its own exclusive enjoyment.
Torrone sweet production around Naples brings the finest handmade honey nougat made using the finest natural ingredients. Crunchy yet melts in your mouth. A delicious flavor of honey and almonds. Good source of fiber and protein.
In Italian Merry Christmas is 'Buon Natale', in Sicilian it's 'Bon Natali' and in Ladin (spoken in some parts of the northern Italian region of South Tyrol) it's 'Bon/Bun Nadèl'.
So, Buon Natale and enjoy your festive specialties!