Venetian food is famous throughout the world, for having been influenced from all the various cultures settled in the lagoon over the centuries. Being a great trading center with the Far East, Venice learned to use some ingredients that are not strictly native, such as spices.
Some dishes with unique and unmistakable flavors were born from the meeting of land and sea: here’s a list of Venetian food you must try at least once.
Fish is one of the main ingredients of Italian cuisine! Among the many species you can find at the Rialto fish market, there are some fish varieties that become protagonists in some traditional Venetian dishes.
We suggest combining your spritz with a cream cod cicheto – it will be a pleasure for your palate! Otherwise, you can try the sarde in saor – these tasty fried sardines, come from the Jewish tradition and are usually prepared according to the original recipe, or revisited in one of the famous Michelin-starred restaurants of the city.
Swipe your finger over the menu to the first courses, and you will find real delicacies. Black cuttlefish pasta, bigoi in salsa, made with anchovies sauce, and spaghetti alla busara, prepared with tomato and prawns. Try one of them, and you will not be disappointed!
As an alternative to pasta, we suggest tasting risotto di gò. In ancient times, the goby was considered one of the poor fish of the Venetian lagoon, but nowadays, it’s very appreciated.
A curious recipe comes from the island of Murano: the bisato roasted on the ara. Traditionally, these small eels were cooked on the stone where the glass jars blown by glass masters are left to cold.
Another Venetian classic is risotto with peas, called risi e bisi: known as the dish of the Doges, it is enjoyed on April, 25th to honor St. Mark, the patron of Venice. In the original recipe, the ingredients are selected according to strict rules – Veronese rice and peas from Vicenza must be used.
Every year, on November, 21st, during the Feast of the Madonna della Salute, all the island’s restaurants prepare another typical dish. Castradina is made with savoy cabbage, onion, wine and a leg of salted, smoked and then seasoned mutton: the result is a tasty soup to enjoy with friends.
During the same month, November, Venetian inhabitants have a custom of preparing a dessert with their children: San Martino. To honor the saint, they make a cake with shortcrust pastry, covered with chocolate sweets and colored icing, and shaped like San Martino on his horse.
Last but not least, there are the sweets of the Venetian tradition. Zaleti, baicoli, S-shaped bussolai, pan dei dogi, baci in gondola with meringues and chocolate, and many others.
In addition to these delicacies, there are special sweets made during a particular period of the year: the Carnival. Fritole, castagnole and galani become protagonists in the windows of bakeries and pastry shops during this traditional festivity. The only way to find out if you like them, it’s to take a break from your diet and taste them!