What I really love about Venetian cooking – A key to understand Venetians and feel the local atmopshere
Food and drinks have always played an important role in Venetian culture. Due to Venice’s location close to the sea, there is a large abundance of fish dishes, simply seasoned with olive oil, garlic, parsley and spices, which were imported over the centuries by the merchants when they came back to Venice from their travels around the world.
There is a large variety of Venetian delicacies which are made from vegetables produced in vegetable gardens, coming from the outlying islands and farms from the hinterlands.
So, which are my favourite dishes?
Here are the 5 top dishes that you can’t miss during your Venetian experience:
– Baccalà Mantecato – salt cod cooked in milk until it becomes a cream to spread on bread or polenta;
– Sarde in Saor – a very old receipe used to preserve food for a long time, fried sardines flavoured with onions, vinegar, raisins, and pine nuts;
– Spaghetti alle vongole – Spaghetti with fresch clams – the Venetian sauce makes this dish special, no tomatos, just clams, white wine, garlic and parsley. You’ve simply never tasted anything like it. Delicious!
– Filetto di San Piero – John Dory fillets – fried with artichokes or tomato sauce or any other vegetable, served with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh parsley.
Then, my last suggestion is a walking tour with me, one of the BestVeniceGuides, to the Rialto fish market and to the residential back streetswith plenty of wine bars (bàcari) where to taste a selection of finger food (cicchetti), a very old tradition!
Traditional wine bars such as Venetian bàcari have existed for a very long time. By the 1300s there were more than 20 bàcari in the Rialto bridge area.These are places where Venetians come to socialize and relax, they offer “cicchetti” along with their local house wine which are usually eaten standing at the counter. They are all freshly prepared and are created with seasonal and local products. You can either just have one or opt for a selection of them.
The best and the most typical wine to have in Venice is bottled Prosecco, a light sparkling wine, now famous internationally. Otherwise you can choose a Spritz, prepared with good quality Prosecco, sparkling water, Aperol or Campari according to your taste, a piece of lemon and an olive.
It’s an opportunity to discover the most authentic aspect of my city, a way to understand Venetians and the pleasure of living in a place where no one is in a hurry.