Many landscapes, and as many flavours. Veneto is one of Italy’s more varied and spectacular regions. And this is reflected also in its gastronomic tradition, broad and consistent, in balance between folks and aristocratic cuisine. As well as a generous array of typical products, one more refined than the next.
This beautiful and great region is rich in charm and history.
The Brenta River, bejewelled with the splendid Palladian villas, flows from the tourists’ destinations and sports resorts in the Dolomites, among Italy’s most exclusive, to the charm of Lake Garda, with olive groves and shores filled with cultural vestiges,
The Adige River start from gentle hills dotted with evocative villages and rows and rows of vineyards, then it reaches Verona, a treasure of the arts, settled on its banks then it flows to the sea, the magic splendour of the Venetian lagoon.
Such varied landscapes cannot but give rise to a vast gastronomic culture, largely influenced also by the past and by Venice, the most powerful of the Maritime Republics, with its cultural openness to trading.
Corn and rice are the cereals key to the traditional dishes of Veneto, where pasta is not necessarily present, except for the classic Pasta and beans.
Risotto is prepared in many ways with a wealth of recipes, and rice combined with the most different ingredients: in Verona Risi e Bisi with peas, Riso alla lamonese with beans, the one with bruscandoli, i.e. the soft wild hop shoots, Risotto alla chioggiotta, prepared with goby fish, with radicchio, typical of Treviso, Polesano with eel, grey mullet, and sea bass, Trevigiana-style, with a sausage called Luganega, and Risi in cavroman with wether.
Among first courses, there are also fish soups, called “brodetti”, of mariner tradition that take inspiration from the gastronomy of the Adriatic coast; especially the famous recipe from Chioggia, the quaint city by the lagoon.
The use of polenta becomes more prevalent towards the mountains. It is served with salt cod, cooked in milk following the most typical recipes, such as Baccalà Vicentina-style or Baccalà Mantecato, but also Liver Venetian-style, with sautéed onions and Pastissada, braised beef or horse meat.
Besides fried, another fish preparation is in saor, similar to “carpione”, i.e. soused, used particularly for oily fish full of flavour like sardines.
Pastry from Veneto is known all over the world thanks to a famous dessert from Verona, Pandoro, served during the Christmas Holidays, and another international celebrity is Tiramisù, based on Mascarpone cheese and coffee, whose paternity is claimed both by Veneto and nearby Fiuli Venezia Giulia.
The entire region boasts desserts with long standing traditions. From the venerable Scalete, round cookies after which Venetian pastry makers took their name “Scaleteri”, i.e. makers of scaleta, to Pàndoli, similar in shape to large and fat breadsticks. Other sweet specialities are Baicoli, almond paste spongy biscuits, ideal for dunking in wine or coffee, Pinza, a sweet from Padua made with corn flour, and Fugazza, with so many ingredients, from orris root to cloves.
The main cereals come from the flat land with cultivations of corn and rice from the Karst spring of Verona lowlands, and the variety Vialone Nano from Verona is the highest quality.
Among extra virgin olive oils, worthy of mention are two: Garda and Veneto. Among the many vegetables, there are the red radicchio from Treviso and the multi coloured one from Castelfranco, white asparagus from Bassano del Grappa, Lamon beans from the Belluno Valley.
Excellent cheeses are produced on the region’s mountains: the top honours go to Asiago cheese, but Monte Veronese and Casatella Trevigiana are more than just runners-ups, and finally there is also Schiz from Belluno to serve cooked in a pan.
The Veneto Berico-Euganeo Ham and Soppressa Vicentina are some of the renowned deli meats.
Red wines are the champions of Veneto’s enology, such as Bardolino and Valpolicella, and among white wines Soave and Prosecco from Conegliano Valdobbiadene. And so many more are valid, like Recioto from Valpolicella or Bianco di Custoza.
Venetian Giacomo Casanova, brilliant intellectual, man of letters, alchemist, musician, considered by some also a secret agent at the service of the Doge, is remembered especially for having been a great seducer. It seems that he was crazy for Liver Venetian-style. And that’s not all. They say he liked it even better served with a mountain of onions and that before each love session he gobbled down a sizeable plate. What to say? It might have been his strategy for conquest: leave his “prays” breathless.
Some typical recipes
Why not trying some recipes from Veneto? Here are some suggestions.
Vol au vent con radicchio e fonduta
A delicious starter, in which the bitterness of radicchio meets the mildness of Fontina cheese, and creates an intense and intriguing taste.
Crespelle al radicchio di Treviso
A classic first course from Veneto, where the combination of béchamel with the flavour of radicchio creates a balanced and enveloping encounter
Baccalà alla vicentina
Our Chefs will guide you step by step through the preparation of one of the most characteristic dishes of this region’s culinary tradition.
Among the typical desserts of Veneto’s tradition, perfect to combine with a sparkling wine, like Prosecco from Valdobbiadene. These biscuits will charm you with their refined aroma.