After 100 years, the family Christmas tradition continues

(WKBN) – For the Gioglio family, the feast of the 7 fish takes many cooks in the kitchen to feed the 90 people who came for Christmas Eve.

Finding all 7 fish can be difficult, but this family did and they had quite a few mouths to feed. But it was worth continuing a tradition dating back over 100 years.

“It probably took three to four days to start,” said Mary Lou. “We got it all figured out, we buy the food and then we come, my nieces help me, his wife, everyone participates.”

“Traditionally we have smelt, Claari, whitefish, bacala, shrimp and eel are generally used. We replaced the eel and made clams instead, ”said Anthony.

With seven fish on the menu, everyone has their favorite.

“I have to make fried shrimp, I’m a little basic but have to do fried shrimp here,” Joseph said.

While the night is all about the food, the real meaning of the party is family.

“Family is number one and it’s something that I wear all my life,” Joseph said.

The Gioglio family holiday dates back over 100 years when their ancestors came to America.

“In 19197, they landed at Ellis Island on December 23,” said Anthony.

From then on, the family gathered in treasures.

“We had up to 125 people from across the country, we even had family members from overseas to join us,” Anthony said.

Parents, grandparents, great-grandparents pass on family recipes every year, generation after generation.

“It’s been at least, I’m saying probably six generations,” said Mary Lou.

Having this Feast of the 7 Fishes every year is a night to show what it means to keep your legacy because, ultimately, they bring a new generation.

“The next generation beyond us just adopted it as well, they like to know what their roots are, where they are from,” said Anthony.

“I would like my children and my cousin’s children, my brother’s children, all to experience this family tradition and experience this love of family and the life that we have here,” said Joseph.


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