ROWAYTON, Conn. — Seafood lovers lined up Thursday at the Rowayton Seafood Fish Market, looking for fresh fish to dish up for a feast on Christmas Eve.
The crew arrived early — setting up at 6 a.m. in advance of the 9 a.m. opening.
"It's probably our busiest day of the year," said Zachary Resin, assistant manager at the coastal market.
Resin said the shop was expecting to do about $11,000 in sales on Thursday, which is about equal to a week of sales in summer or three weeks of sales in winter.
"We will be shucking oysters and clams all day," said Resin.
The shop serves up every seafood imaginable — from live and cooked lobsters, to caviar, shrimp, sea scallops and clam chowder, not to mention a large selection of fresh fish, including Scottish trout, salmon, yellowfin tuna and swordfish.
Not only is fish a popular and healthy entree choice for the holidays, but Dec. 24 is also the Feast of the Seven Fishes. The feast is an Italian-American tradition for Christmas Eve.
"We stock some items that are popular for the Feast of the Seven Fishes – calamari, salt cod," Resin said.
The tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve comes from the Roman Catholic rule about abstaining from eating red meat on the eve of a holiday.
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is not a religious feast and has no set rules. Families serve up as many entrees as they want – not sticking strictly to seven dishes.
The most famous dish is salted cod, but the meal may also include some combination of anchovies, whiting, lobster, sardines, dried salt cod, smelts, eels, squid, octopus, shrimp, mussels and clams. And the tradition has been adopted by people of many different ethnic backgrounds — and by seafood lovers of all denominations.
The Rowayton Seafood Fish Market is located at 89 Rowayton Ave., Norwalk. Call 203-838-7473 or visit its website for more information.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.