Christmas is about tradition — the nostalgic memories that pass from one generation to the next.
For the Italian community in Morris Park, that tradition is the feast of the seven fishes, which takes place on Christmas Eve.
For Carl Giordano, owner of Giordano’s Big G, a meat and fish wholesale warehouse and market, that means a seasonal increase in business – a verrry big increase.
“I would say this is one of the busiest times of the year,” Giordano said. “Although the Italians are probably the ones most likely to stick with the seven fish tradition, I think everyone gets into the spirit of the holiday and fish dinner.”
Located in the heart of the Morris Park community at the corner of Sacket and Paulding avenues, Giordano’s Big G, has been a business in the community for 35 years.
It sees a big increase in fish sales every year as Christmas approaches and local families start preparation for the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes.
The feast, also known as The Vigil or La Viglia is a celebration in anticipation of the birth of Jesus.
Although it is unclear why the feast celebrates seven varieties of fish, some believe it may be a reflection of the seven sacraments and seven deadly sins.
Giordano said some of the most popular fish he sells during the holiday season are king crab legs, shrimp, calamari, tilapia, filet of sole, and baccala.
“Baccala is very popular with the Italians,” he said. “That’s a salted cod.”
Despite a slight increase in the price Giordano has had to pay for his fish this year, he said he will not be increasing his prices for the holiday season.
“I am actually going to be decreasing some of the more expensive items, and leaving everything else pretty much the same,” Giordano said.
“I figure if I can keep my prices the same, and give the customer the lower price, why shouldn’t I? Its because of my loyal customers for 35-plus years that I have been so successful.”
Giordano said he is running a new special this year.
“If a customer buys four 4 oz. Canadian lobster tails, they will get one free.” 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.
The family owned business is located at 1554 Paulding Avenue.
For more information, contact Big G at (718) 892-7798 or visit the store’s web-site at giordanos-big-g.com.
Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394