There are 10 essential dishes that you must try when you set foot in the beautiful city of Venice. Due to the fact that Venice is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, Venetian food consists of a wide variety of sea creatures. If you are not a fan of seafood there are a few dishes that don’t consist of any sea critters and will rock your world. The first dish you must try is sarde in saor. This dish can be described as having a sweet and sour taste to it; it is consisted of fried sardine fillets that are marinated in vinegar, onions, and pine nuts. Fun fact: saor was originated in the Middle Ages as a method of preservation by Venetian sailors and fishermen (10 Essential Food). This antipasto (appetizer) has a fishy taste to it, but you should try it because it is one of Venice’s most traditional and beloved dishes.
The second dish is one of the most interesting and incredible Venetian dishes to me: risotto al nero di seppia. It consists flavors of squid, wine, onion, tomato, and ink braise. The squid ink gives the risotto its black color which can make it look unappetizing but it actually wins over most visitors. The third dish risi e bisi carries significant historical value and amazing taste. This is your basic Venetian rice and peas; it consists of vialone nano rice, pancetta, onion, butter, parsley, and pea shell broth. This was traditionally served as an offering to the Doge of Venice on St. Mark’s Day (10 Essential Food). The fourth dish is an antipasto known as baccala mantecato (creamed dried cod). This dish is made by soaking, poaching, and blending the fish into a smooth mousse. It is seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It is served on slices of fresh bread or polenta (a dough made from cornmeal that is boiled and then fried or baked). Cod is not native to the Mediterranean Sea and it was founded by a Venetian trader who was stranded in Norway with Norwegian cod fisherman (Don’t Leave Venice). It was then imported from other Atlantic seafarers.
The fifth dish is bigoli in salsa which is a signature starter dish in Venice. Bigoli are long, thick, whole-wheat strands of pasta resembling spaghetti. The salsa (sauce) consists of onions and salt-cured fish (sardines or anchovies). It is not fishy tasting because the anchovies break down when cooked. This dish is traditionally served on giorni di margo (day of abstinence) or Good Friday and Christmas Eve. The six dish, fegato alla veneziana, is made with calf liver and stewed onions and is served on polenta.
The seventh dish is made for seafood lovers. Moleche, which are small green crabs, are soft and tender. They are straight from the Venetian lagoon and are eaten after they shed their shells. The eighth dish is a perfect match for the non-sea lovers. Baicoli are dry, long-lasting biscuits. These were used as food for sailors on long voyages (10 Essential Food). It is a long process to make, requiring two rises and double baking. Venetian aristocrats would dip baicoli in creams and dessert wines.
The ninth dish is essential for those who love sweets. Fritole is a sweet pastry fritter traditionally prepared and eaten as part of the festivities before Lent (10 Essential Food). They are made with a rice batter consisted of flour, eggs, butter, milk, sugar, pine nuts, and raisins. They are then molded into balls and deep fried in oil and dusted with sugar. The final dish is another sweet known as pincia. Pincia is a Venetian take on bread pudding. It includes dried fruits, eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some sort of starch (dried bread or polenta).
“10 Essential Food and Drinks to Try in Venice.” Eating Italy Food Tours, 23 Nov. 2015, www.eatingitalyfoodtours.com/blog/essential-food-venice/.
“Don’t Leave Venice Without Trying These 10 Dishes.” Walks of Italy Blog, 21 Mar. 2017, www.walksofitaly.com/blog/food-and-wine/food-in-venice-veneto-verona-italy-travel-tips.
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10 Essential Food and Drinks to Try in Venice