If there is one thing that characterises Italian gastronomy, it is that it is very varied. A cuisine with a strong historical and traditional character that is perfectly reflected in the Italian food at Christmas. A time of year in which each region of the country usually offers an autochthonous dish or some specialty to celebrate the anniversary.
One of the great symbols of Italian Christmas food is the Christmas cenone. It is usually on the Christmas Eve dinner menu, and seafood or fish dishes are not to be missed. Also included are fried vegetables, tartinas, fish salads and a few pasta dishes.
Pasta plays a special role in the Italian Christmas meal on 25 December. The specialities that can be prepared are baked pasta, pasta timbale with tomato sauce, meat, pieces of mozzarella and parmigiano, arrosto or pasta accompanied by roasted meat or roast beef.
The fish has a great protagonism in the Italian gastronomy of Christmas. Without going any further, a traditional Christmas dinner in the transalpine country can include up to seven, nine or eleven fish dishes, depending on the region or city in which we are. Baccalá (salted fish or dried cod) is one of the favorites on the menu.
A special section within the Italian food at Christmas is that of sweets and desserts. Every region of Italy has its genuine specialties, although in all of them there is the traditional panettone, a dome shaped bun with raisins made with flour, yeast, eggs, butter, sugar and candied fruit.
Other typical sweets are struffoli napolitano, torrone, mostaccioli, cubaita siciliana, pandolce, pandoro, panpepato, pangiallo or cartedatte.
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