The Veneto region offers a wide range of unique dishes thanks to its different territories – the sea, lakes, plains and mountains – and historical events, especially the Serenissima period, which allowed it to come into contact with different cultures and to be the first to test spices, rice, maize and many other types of fruit and vegetables.
Not surprisingly, one of the most famous dishes is ‘risotto alla veneta’, a rice-based preparation – known thanks to the Arabs – cooked in a meat broth and served with vegetables, cheese and salami. Polenta’, made from maize flour, also of Arab origin, is another food and wine tradition, usually accompanied by meat or mushroom sauces.
From the Adriatic Sea, come the basic ingredients of ‘sarde in saor’, sardines marinated in a mixture of vinegar, sultanas and onions, and ‘baccalà alla vicentina’, a dish of boiled cod served with polenta.
The latter is also one of the typical ‘cicchetti veneziani’, a term used to indicate ‘rompi-digiuno’, small samples of fish or cold meats, hot or cold, placed on bread.
In Venice, the ‘cicchetto’ is inextricably associated with a ‘ombra’, i.e. a glass of wine, including Prosecco, the Italian bubbly, known even before the Romans, whose name dates back to the end of the 16th century, when sparkling wine was first given this appellation.
Amarone della Valpolicella, Soave and Bardolino are among the best known wines of the region, which is characterised by the presence of both native and international grape varieties.
For those with a sweet tooth, the Veneto offers the ‘frittella di Mezzano’, a fried crepe filled with jam or cream, and the ‘panettone alla veneta’, a variation of the famous Milanese Christmas cake, with the addition of sultanas and pine nuts.
All that remains is to accept the typical Venetian invitation to enjoy every moment of what you have with simplicity and joy, between a spritz, a glass of good wine and some tasty cicchetti: ‘MAGNA E BEVI, CHE LA VITA E’ UN LAMPO’.