What to eat in Venice?
Updated: Jun 2
The Venetian lagoon and Adriatic Sea left their mark on the cuisine of Venice. Seafood and fish play crucial roles in the cuisine. An example of this are the traditional dishes such as sarde in saor (sweet and sour sardines), risotto al nero di seppia (squid ink risotto), and fritto misto (mixed fried seafood) that are popular choices.
On the other hand, spices are also an extremely important part of Venetian cuisine. They are mainly used in sweet dishes such as fritoles (small, fried doughnuts), which are flavored with cinnamon, sugar, and raisins. Other sweet treats include tiramisù and zaleti (cornmeal cookies). Venice is also known for its aperitivo culture. It is accepted among the locals to gather at bars or cafes for a pre-dinner drink and small bites, such as cicchetti, which are small savory snacks.
Here we are going to present to you in more detail some of the typical dishes that you should not miss when you visit Venice. Dive into this blend of tastes!
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Baccalà mantecato is a traditional Venetian dish typically served as an appetizer. It is made with salted cod that has been soaked in water to remove the salt, then poached in milk or water until tender. After that, the fish is mixed with olive oil, garlic, and sometimes parsley or lemon juice, until it has a creamy texture. The name of the dish comes from the Italian "mantecare", which means "to mix". Moreover, baccalà mantecato is often served during the Christmas season as part of the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Fegato alla Veneziana
Fegato alla Veneziana, also known as Venetian-style liver. It is made from thinly sliced calf's liver that is sautéed with onions, butter, and white wine, then seasoned with salt and black pepper. Traditionally, fegato alla Veneziana is served as a main dish with a side of polenta, a creamy cornmeal dish that complements the flavors of the liver and onions. A glass of red wine is frequently paired with this warming and savory dish, which is popular during the winter. However, there are some modern variations of the dish in which other types of liver are used, such as chicken or beef liver.
Moéche, also known as soft-shell crabs, is often served as an appetizer and makes a great combination with a glass of white wine. They are called "soft-shell", because they have recently molted their hard outer shell and are still in the process of creating their new one. Moeche are often collected from the lagoon in Venice in the early spring. The crabs are washed before being prepared for cooking in a number of different methods, such as frying or sautéing in butter and garlic.
Risi e bisi
Of course, we cannot miss one of the most typical dishes for the city, which is risi e bisi, which means "rice and peas". It is a creamy soup made with fresh peas and Arborio rice. When the pea season comes in the spring, that is the typical time when this dish is served. Even though Risi e Bisi is a simple meal, it is adored in Venice and regarded as a staple of the city's cuisine. It frequently goes with other classic Venetian meals like sarde in saor or baccalà mantecato and goes well with a crisp white wine or a light red wine.
Bigoli in Salsa
The traditional pasta dish known as "Bigoli in Salsa" is a mainstay of Venetian cooking. Bigoli, which resemble thick spaghetti and have a similar texture to whole wheat spaghetti, are used to make it. The sauce, which is an extremely important part of the dish, is made with caramelized onions that are cooked down in olive oil until they are sweet and tender. This typical meal can be found in many local restaurants. Normally, a glass of red wine like Valpolicella or Bardolino is served with the dish.
Fritole is very popular dish in Venice and more specifically during the carnival time. Typically, flour, eggs, sugar, yeast, and raisins are used to make it, and it is fried till golden and crispy. It is also sometimes flavored with lemon zest, vanilla, or rum for added complexity of flavor. This typical dessert dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was a popular street food sold by vendors called "frìtoleri".
This dessert cannot be missed in the list what is must-try. Layers of ladyfingers soaked in espresso and a blend of mascarpone cheese, sugar, and eggs make up this rich and creamy delicacy. Although the history of tiramisù is a little unclear, it is believed that it has been invented in the 1960s or 1970s. Italian for "lift me up," the dessert's moniker "tiramisù" is appropriate for something that is both rich and invigorating.
Traditional Venetian biscuits called "baicoli" are frequently offered with coffee or tea. Baicoli have a long history dating back to the 18th century, when they were created as a snack for Venetian sailors to carry on lengthy trips. The biscuits are often flavored with vanilla or lemon zest and may be sprinkled with sugar or salt, depending on the desired taste.
Grappa di Venezia, also known as Grappa Venice, is a variety of grappa made in the Veneto region of Italy, which also includes the city of Venice. It is typically made from the pomace of the Glera grape, which is the same grape used to produce Prosecco. After a meal, grappa Venice is sometimes offered as a digestif. However, it is also occasionally used as an ingredient in cocktails. Due to the several distilleries in the area that provide tours and tastings, it is also a preferred souvenir for tourists.
A traditional cocktail called a Bellini is believed to have its roots in Venice, Italy. It has the name Giovanni Bellini, a 15th-century Venetian painter whose paintings often featured a pink hue that is similar to the color of the drink. It is a popular drink, especially during the summer months. It is frequently offered as an aperitif, or a beverage before dinner, and occasionally is matched with small dishes of conventional Venetian fare.
We hope the article about the food from Venice made you consider visiting this beautiful city and trying out its cuisine! Follow us on Instagram @thewalkingparrot to be alerted when new articles are published!