Christmas Eve the most wonderful night of the year

Dec 24, 2018 571

BY: Frank Carrano

In early December our store and most of the others in the neighborhood began to take on a holiday look. My father always decorated the large windows with laurel roping and a wreath on the door. Inside, there were baskets of figs imported from Italy and sacks of hard-shelled nuts, the most popular being walnuts and hazelnuts, or nocciole.

Later in the month and especially the week before Christmas, the fruit and special vegetables would begin to arrive. We always had some imported melons and grapes from Chile, and broccoli and escarole and oranges and tangerines from California. Fancy apples and pears as well. The Christmas Eve meal for La Vigilia always included a broccoli salad and stuffed escarole in addition to the fish.

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