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The traditional Christmas Lunch in Liguria

Christmas is here, and our houses are rich of decorations and colored lights, every single child has already sent their wishlist to Santa. Everything is ready. Just the Christmas Lunch menu is missing!

On the dining table the Christmas magic is renewed every year: we share special moments with our loved ones. Whether you stay at home for Christmas or you decide to celebrate with us here at Ai Pozzi Village, Christmas Lunch proves to be the most anticipated feast of the year.

In this article we would like to dive with you into tradition. We will revisit the various highlights of Christmas in Liguria. We will discover the characteristic Christmas lunch menu, with all the courses and dishes handed down for generations.


The most anticipated feast of the year: Christmas in Ligurian tradition

In the past, Christmas was for sure the most awaited celebration of the year. This is the reason why the Christmas lunch menu was carefully planned well in advance. Already in the Autumn season people began to gather and store up useful ingredients for the most traditional dishes . The day before, women devoted themselves to house cleaning and house decorations, by that time very simple. They usually were twined bay leaves with juniper berries, olive branches, walnuts and hazelnuts. After having set up ornaments and the relatively light dinner of the Eve, the real preparation for the main courses tomorrow’s lunch started.


First courses from the Christmas tradition

The Ligurian Christmas menu includes starters based of savory pies, vegetables, focaccia(olive oil flat bread) and chickpea farinata (flat bread), to be tasted with a good white wine. Shortly after the real dishes of the traditions come to the lunch table. Among the first courses “ravioli au tuccu” (ravioli with typical meat sauce) cannot be missed, and “natalini in brodo” (natalini pasta in broth). The latter is a particular kind of oval-shaped durum wheat pasta, cut on the bias, like long “penne” pasta. They are cooked within the capon broth and they are accompanied by little sausage meatballs.


Ligurian Christmas lunch main courses

The second dishes of the Ligurian Christmas tradition in Liguria are varied, but almost everyone relying on meat. We can find the roast turkey, boiled capon or Ligurian-style rabbit. In the major dry spell periods, the “cappon magro” (thin capon) was usually consumed, nowadays a refined dish, made of fish and vegetables. Another main course that cannot be missed in the tradition is the “cima alla genovese”. This is composed by veal meat stuffed with eggs, vegetables, cheese and sweetbread. To accompany the main courses we often find the fried meat, mushrooms and sweetbread kebabs.


Christmas desserts

Ultimately, ready to delight our palates at the end of the meal, here come the desserts. The main characters among the Ligurian Christmas desserts is the pandolce. Mainly known as “the Ligurian panettone”, it differs from the Lombard dessert as it is lower and denser. The preparation starts after a long leavening of the dough, previously enriched with pine nuts, candied fruit and raisins. In addition to the pandolce we can certainly find other traditional Christmas desserts as the torrone (nougat), canestrelli (cookies), the sweet ravioli and dried fruit.

We have already chosen the Christmas lunch menu, and you? Are you curious about what we have in store for you during these holidays, contact us for more information!

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