Italy is full of centenary gastronomic traditions. And even more, among old recipes, unforgettable memories and its indisputable beauties stand out holidays’ recipes. Christmas, Easter and Carnival: every occasion, in Italy, is good to set the table and celebrate the joys of life and palate.
Among the most popular recipes, however, the first place goes to Christmas. Without distinction, every year is a bet to those who prepare with more rigor recipes handed down from generations, pinned on books, grocery receipts and notebooks.
What did we eat on Christmas Eve in Rome?
The foods of the Italian Christmas tradition have the taste of happiness and childhood, and remember that some things – fortunately– never change. So, for example, every Christmas Eve the Roman kitchen are literally immersed in boiling oil! Deep fried food is a real must in Rome, especially during the Advent period.
Among the delicacies that can’t miss on the tables during the evening of the 24th of December, stands out the Roman mixed fried food: battered vegetables, fried cod and... apples!
The Roman fried food of Christmas Eve: a peasant tradition
In fact, if you say Rome most of the time, you say fried. So, for example, it is impossible not to be tempted by fried artichokes, suppli and zucchini flowers. The first one is typical of the Judicial-Roman tradition, they are entire artichokes fried in boiling oil– until opening like flowers and becoming very crispy; the second one is meatballs of rice, tomato and mozzarella; the last one, instead, are filled with mozzarella and anchovies.
But in Rome, at Christmas we don’t eat these dishes: the traditional recipes have poor origins and, for this, besides being delicious in their simplicity, they respect the seasonality of the gardens and orchards.
So, the Roman mixed fried food at Christmas, is based on winter vegetables such as potatoes, artichokes, broccoli and fennel, battered cod and apple slices, dipped in the same batter of vegetables and sprinkled with sugar... that, in contact with the hot slices, it melts to create a delicious icing.
What are the secrets to prepare an authentic Roman-style fried food? Discover them by reading here!
In addition to the importance of the quality of raw materials, the secret ingredient (unsuspecting!) for a perfect Roman fried is only one: the water, which must be sparkling and icy, so that the fried food will be perfectly cooked and crunchy!
For the preparation, mix together flour and water, just enough to obtain a smooth compound, without lumps, neither too much liquid nor too dense.
A little tip: to check that the texture is the right one, just dip the fork in the batter. If it struggles down the fork, but stays attached, we can proceed!
At this point, immerse the vegetables– washed and cut – the cod fillets and apple slices in the batter and fry everything in plenty boiling oil, until reaching the perfect browning. Finally, add salt to vegetables and fish, and sweeten the slices of apple.
Serve everything in a large serving dish sprinkled with parchment paper.