Veneto food:
a unique cuisine of Italy

Veneto food brings together both the traditional and the fancy to make it one of the most unique foods in Italy.

There is a wonderful array of flavors to choose from and the tastes are always exquisite.
It is one of the finest cuisines in Italy because it always features a balance of ingredients without being wildly elaborate.

Of course, Veneto dishes have been influenced by the ancestors of Venice for centuries.
There have also been contacts with distant cultures, from the Middle East to Northern Europe.

Even though the traditional aspects of Italian food, like the essence of real pasta, are all there, other elements combine to make Veneto food especially unique.

The four basic elements that are specific to Veneto food are:

  • polenta
  • rice
  • beans
  • baccalà
  • .

Polenta is a type of bread which has a yellow color - white in the Venice area - and it’s usually eaten as a side dish with an array of juicy sausages, or - absolutely exquisite - accompanied with the typical cold cuts of Veneto. In this case the polenta is grilled.

This maize flour bread - in the past considered food for the poor, is so popular that Northern Italians are often nicknamed polentoni,or polenta eaters by other Italians.

From Norway to Veneto

Baccalà (accent on the last a is also known as dried codfish and it is a very delicate dish, originating from the province of Vicenza.
Baccalà alla Vicentina or Vicenza style codfish now competes with historic Palladian architecture as the most recognized symbol in the town of Vicenza.

The history of the codfish is curious.
In 1432, the merchant and Venetian captain Pietro Querini, wrecked on Rost island with his sailors.
They stayed about 4 months in tight contact with its 120 inhabitants. Their main food was cod and the Venetians observed the way they treated the cod, drying it into a stockfish and making it more appealing to the palette.

Pietro brought home some cod and the cooks from Vicenza developed a particular recipe based on the ideas they had learned in Rost.
This cod had the advantage of being both less expensive and less easily perishable than other fish. It was ideal for long sea voyages that Venetian sailors so often took.

Today, in remembrance of these early days on Rost, the Norway Lofoten island has been named Sandrigøya, or Sandrigo island, in honor of the small town in Vicenza which helped to develop this new dish. Similarly, a square has been dedicated to Rost in Sandrigo and the two regions now share this common bond in their history.

Rice and risotto

Rice was brought to Venice through contacts with the Arabs.
The rice type Vialone Nano is now grown in the Verona area and is extremely fine in its consistency. It boasts of a D.O.P certificate, which is a guarantee of origin and protected designation.

Combining the rice and the radicchio, a dark red, bitter vegetable, a wonderful risotto can be baked to perfection and this is known as the risotto con il radicchio. It is one of my favorites and, if I had to recommend a risotto dish, it would probably be this one.
Putting together rice and radicchio, the dish could be considered one of the grandest symbols of Veneto food.

Tiramisù..just one of the Veneto desserts

Finish off your meal with a great dessert and try the famous Tiramisù, made of ladyfingers, coffee and mascarpone cheese. The word means pull me up.
It was invented in the Veneto town of Treviso and it always pleases its guests. have a look here at the traditional and easy tiramisu recipe.

Everyone usually leaves happy when they taste the flavours in Veneto. Just pay attention to select a quality trattoria or restaurant. Make it your personal goal to not miss the traditional Veneto food, and, if you have time left, visit the Vicenza area for the finest baccalà alla vicentina.

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