You may be visiting Venice for the renowned Carnival of Venice, or just traversing her beautiful grounds for sight-seeing. For the best local dishes you may also like to dine with the locals and get a taste of the true Venetian culinary experience.
Either way, don’t leave this city without having a taste of these Venetian classics. Finding the best Venice food is easier than you imagine and some of these popular dishes of the Venetian cuisine give you a great taste of the traditional Italian food:
1. Sarde in Saor
The sarde in saor is a classic Italian antipasto that you absolutely have to try. This dish of sweet and sour sardines are cooked in a tangy sauce containing an eclectic mix of ingredients, such as onions, pine nuts, and raisins.
Fried sardines are commonly used, but the dish tastes just as good when the fish is broiled.
2. Squid Ink Risotto or Pasta
Do not let the unattractive appearances of squid ink dishes fool you into thinking that these dishes are unappetising. Savour a mouthful of a squid ink risotto dish, and you will be charmed – the sweetness of the risotto rice, the salty tastes of fresh seafood and the briny flavors of the squid ink all blend well together.
Simply garnished with a sprinkle of spring onion, the dish is completed and served.
3. Bigoli in Salsa
A signature dish of Venice, the bigoli in salsa is made with whole wheat bigoli pasta, onions, and salt-cured fish. Traditionally, sardines was used in the preparation of this dish, but the anchovy is more commonly used today.
4. Fegato alla Veneziana
Calf liver may be the main ingredient in the Fegato alla Veneziana, but do not be put off by this dish, for it wins over diners who are not fans of the liver. Cooked with stewed onions, the pungent tastes of the liver are masked by the sweet flavours of the onions. Tender and tasty, this is a classic dish not to be missed.
A seasonal Venetian treat consumed during spring and autumn, moleche are soft shell crabs from the lagoon in Venice. The males and female crabs shed their shells during springtime, while only the males molt during the autumn months.
Timing is crucial when it comes to managing the molting process, for there is a short duration of about five to six hours before the crabs form a new shell that hardens after contact with water. This seafood delicacy yields a soft and tender bite, and is usually eaten fried, in a salad and served with polenta or mashed potatoes.
Folpeti is a dish of baby octopus simmered in a broth with olive oil and lemon juice. It is used as a filling for sandwiches and seasoned with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
7. Baccala Mantecato
Also known as polenta with dry cod mousse, baccala mantecato is usually served on a piece of baguette or a slice of grilled polenta. The mousse is prepared by drying and salting the cod, before soaking the fish in water to remove the salt. The cod is then poached and blended into a smooth, mousse-like consistency.
Perfect as a breakfast or snack, tramezzini are triangular sandwiches made with white bread without crusts. Fillings such as tuna, olives and prosciutto are popular options, but a plethora of ingredients can be used to create different variations of this snack.
Originating from Venice, this well-loved cocktail was created by Giuseppe Cipriani, the founder of Harry’s Bar. The concoction contains a mixture of Prosecco sparkling wine and peach puree. In the original recipe, a dash of cherry or raspberry juice was added to give the drink a pretty pink hue.
A tip for budget travelers: try the Bellini at other bars, for a small glass of this cocktail can easily cost over €20 at Harry’s.
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Don’t just read all about these Venetian delights – have a taste of these treats in the homes of the locals in Venice!