(WKBN) — For the Gioglio Family, the Feast of the 7 Fishes takes many cooks in the kitchen to feed the 90 people coming for Christmas Eve.
Finding all 7 fish may be tough but this family did it and they had quite a few mouths to feed. But it was worth it to carry on a tradition more than 100 years old.
“It probably took is just to get started probably three to four days,” Mary Lou said. “We have it down pat, we buy the food and then we come over, my nieces help me, his wife, everybody chips in.”
“Traditionally we have smelts, Claari, whitefish, bacala, shrimp and eel is usually used. We substituted the eel and we do clams instead,” Anthony said.
With seven fish on the menu, everyone has their favorite.
“I gotta do fried shrimp, I’m a little basic but I gotta do fried shrimp here,” Joseph said.
While the night is centered around food, the true meaning of the feast is family.
“Family is number one and that’s something that I carry through my entire life,” Joseph said.
The Gioglio family feast goes back more than 100 years when their ancestors came to America.
“In 19197 they landed in Ellis Island on Dec. 23,” Anthony said.
From then on, the family gathered in troves.
“We’ve had up to 125 people from across the country, we’ve even had some family come from overseas to join us,” Anthony said.
The parents, grandparents, great grandparents passing on family recipes each year, generation after generation.
“It’s been at least, I probably say six generations,” Mary Lou said.
Having this Feast of the 7 fishes every year, is a night to show what it means to hold on to your heritage as, eventually they bring in a new generation.
“The next generation beyond us has just embraced it as well, they love to know what their roots are, where they came from,” Anthony said.
“I would love for my kids and my cousin’s kids, my brother’s kids, all of t6hem to experience this family tradition and experience this family love and the life that we have here,” Joseph said.