Venetian cuisine is the culmination of varied flavors from the region of Veneto. The history of the Venetian Republic and culture includes dishes that are highly depending on the usage of fish and vegetables. The floating city Venice offers delectable and unique dishes that differ widely from other cuisines.
People from all over the world visit Italy keeping the stipulated pizza and pasta in mind, missing the pleasure of the local food served and consumed by Venetians.
The geographical, climatic and agricultural presence from the seaside, plain lands to the foothills of Alps Mountain brings the four key ingredients in Venetian cuisine – polenta, cod, rice, and beans.
You can experience a glimpse of the extensive variety in its cuisine in the following section. The different layers of regional cooking with the simplicity and sensitivity are evident in each preparation.
The top 5 Venetian food dishes that are most popular around the world are enlisted below.
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5 Popular Venetian Cuisine Dishes
1. Sarde in Soar
Sarde in soar is among the favorite Venetian dishes which you need to try. This is one of the ancient and traditional Venetian cuisine developed by the sailors and fishermen as a method of preservation of fishes and other seafood during the middle ages. The sweet and sour taste arising from the preservation process appeals to the gustatory cells.
The dish is transformed into an antipasto or appetizer in the modern-day. The mouth-watering dish comprises of fried sardine fillets that are marinated in a special preparation made from vinegar, raisins, pine nuts and onions.
Though this dish is appreciated by the fish-lovers, others should also try at least once when they visit Venice to encounter the delicately sweet, salty, and tangy taste altogether.
2. Scampetti Con Polenta
The people in the northern parts of Veneto prefer to have a staple starch called polenta instead of pasta. It was originated from various starches available including acorns and buckwheat.
After the 16th century, corn starch became the dominant ingredient of polenta. It is mostly in the form of cornmeal just like the American grits. You can also find it as wobbly fritters served with melted cheese and alternating layers of sauce.
If you want to get surprised then try it as a main course. Scampetti con polenta is the main course dish made from small shrimps and polenta. There are several other variations of polenta served with a wide range of meats and stewed meats that you can eat as comforting foods during the chilly climate in Venice.
3. Risi e Bisi
A rice-based starter that comes in between a risotto and a soup is an authentic Venetian cuisine made from rice and peas. Risi e Bisi was traditionally served to the Doge of Venice on the St. Mark’s day on April 25th as an offering from the peasantry of lagoon islands.
The main ingredients that are involved in this dish are Vialone nano rice, pancetta, butter, onion, and parsley. An astonishing part is the presence of enough pea-shell broth in it. The ideal time to taste Risi e Bisi is when you get to notice fresh peas in the local markets.
4. Bigoli in Salsa
Another signature dish of Venice is Bigoli in salsa. The fancy name of the dish and the heavenly taste of it, both do justice with each other. Bigoli or Bigoi as called in the local language are thick, long and specifically whole wheat strands of spaghetti or pasta.
The pasta is prepared in a salty-savory salsa made from onions and salt-cured fishes like anchovies and sardines. This seafood pasta with sautéed onions is not-at-all fishy taste. So it is recommended for all to enjoy this delightful dish.
Earlier Bigoli in salsa was served during the lean days of Christmas and Good Friday, but now it is readily available in every restaurant or local eateries in Venice throughout the year.
5. Bacala Mantecato
Do you remember the above-mentioned polenta is served as fritters with various toppings? Bacalà mantecato is an awe-inspiring fish-based antipasto used on the polenta fritters. This famous Venetian topping is more of a creamed salt dried cod. In ancient times, sailors and fishermen used Bacala to preserve fish during long voyages.
This unique dish is prepared by soaking, simmering and blending the fish into a smooth paste mixed with salt, pepper and olive oil. Several other variations in this preparation include garlic and parsley to provide contemporary taste.
A typical Veneto diet comprises of this Bacalà mantecato spread along with fresh bread or grilled polenta. It is also served with deep-fried croquettes to make it more delicious.
The above five dishes are just like the cherry on the cake. It is impossible to try the infinite number of dishes related to the enormous Venetian cuisine. You should target having a few of the diverse regional delicacies along with some seasonal dishes whenever you plan a trip to Venice.