Giordano preps for Feast of Seven Fishes

Holding some of the fishes popular at Big G during the Christmas Eve holiday are (l-r) butcher and fish cutter Samuel Duran, Morris Park resident and assistant Kristen Catuogno, owner Carl Giordano, and store manager Luis Reyes.
Photo by Patrick Rocchio

For Giordano’s Big G, who has a great reputation for high quality meats and seafood year round, the Christmas season is a time when many customers choose Giordano’s to stock up on fish for Christmas Eve.

Located in the heart of the Morris Park community at the corner of Sacket and Paulding avenues, Giordano’s Big G sees a big increase in fish sales as southern Italian and Sicilian families choose to stay local to buy fish for the Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes, said owner Carl Giordano.

Many of the families in the community celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes, also know as The Vigil or La Vigilia, which is a commemoration of the wait for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.

Families typically stock up on seven fishes, but sometimes more. Often they purchase king crab, shrimp, sword fish, calamari, mussels, cod fish, octopus, filet of sole, salmon, smelts, baklava, and other delights, Giordano said.

“Sales on seafood get tremendously busy for Christmas,” Giordano said. “One of my busiest holidays here is Christmas Eve because of the increase in sales of fish. Most people buy seven fishes, but some choose to do more.”

Variety is the key to making sure that a Feast of the Seven Fishes celebration is a success. While the origin of the celebration is unclear, the Feast of the Seven fishes may be a reflection of the seven sacraments, and seven deadly sins, which are central to the Roman Catholic heritage. Some families also choose to eat 10 fishes on Christmas Eve, possibly in remembrance of the 10 stations of the cross, or even 13 fishes, remembering the 12 disciples and Jesus.

Fish prices remain very stable during the holiday season, expect when market demands on very fresh fish may call for slightly higher prices, Giordano said.

“A lot of the really best fish comes frozen from other parts of the country, so the price doesn’t fluctuate much,” Giordano said. “Most of the really good seafood, like King Crab, is a frozen product.”

The retail and wholesale store also carries very fresh fish, including fresh filet of sole, Giordano said. One of the largest holiday favorites for the feast is baklava, a salted cod, Giordano stated.

“A big thing with the Italians is baklava, which has to be soaked for three or four days,” Giordano said.

Giordano’s Big G celebrated its 30th anniversary in business in 2007, effectively starting after Giordano chose to leave working at a supermarket and go into the wholesale food business, which was originally located in Throggs Neck. He gradually expanded into the retail side, and today carries all types of meats and seafood, including large platters, sometimes at a flat price that is cheaper than buying the pieces individually. The family owned business is located at 1554 Paulding Avenue.

Giordano is a frequent contributor to local fundraisers, and he is grateful for his customers’s loyal patronage and hopes to continue to make the family-owned store a success for many years to come.

For more information, contact Big G at (718) 892-7798 or stop by the store. The store’s website is

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3393

More from Around NYC