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International Traditions Find A Seat At The Table At Tops


Williamsville, New York-based Tops is celebrating international traditions during the holiday season.

Tops is helping Italian and Polish families in preparation for The Feast of the Seven Fishes and Wigilia, celebrated on Christmas Eve. The traditions are similar as they are meatless meals consumed on Dec. 24 in observance of abstinence from meat until the Christmas day feast.

Although it is not called The Feast of the Seven Fishes in Italy, this is considered a grand meal. The tradition comes from Southern Italy, where it is known as La Vigilia – The Vigil. The meal consists of seven different seafood dishes.

The Polish tradition of Wigilia, also held as a traditional Chrismas Eve vigil supper, follows a day of abstinence and begins once the First Star has been sighted. Where it differs, however, is that 12 distinct dishes are typically served in memory of the 12 apostles.

The meal begins with soup, either borscht with tortellini or wild mushroom consommé, followed by herring in different forms. Fish is served as the main dish, with onions, carrots, almonds and raisins. Accompaniments consist of cabbage, cooked red or sauerkraut with apple salad. The bread served at the meal is often challah. More localized variations of the meal include pierogi filled with cheese, potatoes, mushroom or cabbage, stuffed cabbage with mushrooms and rice and cabbage rolls.

To ensure people have the meatless meal options available to honor these traditions, Tops recommends reviewing a local Tops Friendly Markets and this week’s ad. From shrimp trays and lobster and crab to scallops, salmon, snow crabs and haddock, there are several meatless meal choices available.

To view your local ad, visit Tops Friendly Markets – My Weekly Specials.

Tops Markets operates 150 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont, including five that are run by franchisees. With more than 14,000 employees, the company helps its communities flourish via support for programs that eradicate hunger and disease, educate youth and reduce environmental waste and energy consumption.

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