Feast of the 7 fishes keeps local seafood store busy

NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — For many people, Christmas is all about traditions. For Italian-Americans especially, that includes food. Many will be enjoying the feast of the seven fishes tonight, a tradition that keeps workers at the Captain’s Catch in North Providence very busy this Christmas Eve.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Captain’s Catch. Customer after customer picking up their version of the feast of the seven fishes.

“We’ve been doing seven fishes, I want to say since before I was born and that’s 70 years! We do snails, smelts, shrimp, cod, baccala, clams, filet sole, eel. I think that’s 7,” says Deborah Barbieri.

How many fishes and which ones are different for every family.

“I come here for the scallops and the super jumbo shrimp, that’s what we do as far as fish goes,” says Joseph Carreiro.

“It’s not the traditional 7 fishes, we just do like a smorgasbord of different things you know linguine and clams, shrimp cocktail, baked stuffed shrimp, shmelts, clam zuppa, stuff like that,” says John Hearn.

The big seller is shrimp. They’ll go through 2,000 pounds of it and the owner, Mark Castelli, peels each one by hand.

“It’s been a 4 day run. Some people come early, some wait until the last minute but we keep up with it,” says Castelli.

For the first time in 36 years they opened up early this morning to help cut down on wait times.

Just because they’re busy helping others get their Christmas Eve dinner on the table, doesn’t mean they won’t have their own feast of the fishes.

“I don’t even count them I’m bringing home some of everything,” says Castelli.

Today and yesterday are the best days for business at Captain’s Catch.

© WLNE/ABC 6 2018