We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Countdown to Christmas - Italian Style! December 19

photo courtesy www.finecraftguild.com

Day 19 (diciannove)!  Where did this month go to?  We are almost .... almost to Christmas! 

And we're back to a food item behind door number 19 today. Lentils!

I had planned to leave lentils for a later date, but I'm sorry, I just cannot hold out any longer. I've eaten lentils at two holiday dinners already, ate them at home with our own dinner last night, and I'm seeing them in shops all over the city in gift bags (see below).  Yes, that's right, bags of lentils for Christmas gifts! 

Lentils are served as a side dish at holiday meals, traditionally Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve. These little round disk shapes which resemble small coins symbolize good luck to Italians. The more lentils you eat, the more good fortune you are supposed to get. And that good fortune is supposed to translate into exactly that: Fortune. Money. Cash. 

(Note to my husband- I DO NOT want to see a bag of lentils under the Christmas tree. Just a subtle hint :) ). 

Here they are cooked. I love them, they are delicious, and very healthy for you. If you have not tried lentils ever, definitely try them. 

I'm not done with lentils for this holiday season yet. There will be more at both the Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve dinners. 

                                    Buon Natale!


Andrew H said...

We receive a foodie magazine called Olive and this month it has Christmas recipes. It has an Italian recipe for large conchiglie stuffed with sausage and lentils. I didn't realise the lentils significance till I read your blog.

karen said...

Andrew- I'm delighted this post provided a little tiny tidbit of Italian tradition for you! Eat those lentils!!!

Dianne said...

In France, lentils are also extremely important. They even have their own "Appellation Controllee'" -- These are for the lentils from Le Puy, France, or as they are commonly know "Lentilles du Puy". Where do the lentils used in Italy come from?