News Release
 December 21, 2022
CONTACT: Kathy Sautter
716 635 5577

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – If you come from an Italian or Polish family who upholds holiday traditions, this time of year you are probably busy preparing for either The Feast of the Seven Fishes (Italian) or Wigilia (Polish), celebrated on Christmas Eve. These steadfast traditions are both similar in that they are meatless meals consumed on December 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 and is not a "feast" in the sense of "holiday," this is considered a grand meal. The tradition comes from Southern Italy, where it is known as La Vigilia-The Vigil. Today the meal consists typically of seven different seafood dishes. Not sure what to make? A variety of suggestions can be found at From bang bang shrimp to pan seared scallop scampi, Bucatini seafood pasta to tips on how to prepare a lobster, there are a wealth of ideas to inspire your seven dishes. The Polish tradition of Wigilia, also held as a traditional Chrismas Eve vigil supper, also follows a day of abstinence and traditionally 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 typically begins with soup, either borscht with tortellini or wild mushroom consommé, followed by herring in different forms. Fish is served as the main dish sweet 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. We of course couldn’t forget the wide array of desserts which ranges from fruit compote to poppy seed cakes, babka, and Christmas cookies. 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 you have all the meatless meal options available to honor these traditions look no further than your local Tops Friendly Markets and this week’s ad. From shrimp trays, and lobster and crab to scallops, salmon, snow crabs and haddock, the meatless meal choices abound. Marry those dishes with delicious sides to compliment your holiday tradition. To view your local ad visit Tops Friendly Markets - My Weekly Specials ( ###

About Tops Friendly Markets Based in Williamsville, NY, Tops Markets currently operates 150 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, including five that are run by franchisees. As the largest private, for-profit employer in Western New York, with over 14,000 associates, the company is dedicated to providing sustainably sourced, high-quality products, while helping its communities flourish via support for programs that eradicate hunger and disease, educate youth and reduce environmental waste and energy consumption. For more information, visit


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