Must-try dishes of Veneto Region

  • Written by  Irene Ramponi
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Must-try dishes of Veneto Region by walimai73, via Wikimedia, Creative Commons Licence


Every part of Italy has its own typical food and its local products, and every food has its own history.

As for the Veneto Region, on the north east part of the Italian Peninsula, the tradition is really colorful, and for every province of this Region, you can find different types and variations. Every one of those dishes comes from an original recipe.


Let's start with the top ten of foods of Veneto.


Baccalà alla VicentinaThe first place is occupied by Baccalà alla Vicentina, dried salted cod, Vicenza's best known dish, a spectacular conversion of a tough, rather stringy fish into a creamy delight. It has to stay two days under water before being cooked; at the end it's a real delight, served with polenta, a cornmeal mush or porridge that originated in Northern Italy as a peasant food. Though most is typically made with coarse yellow cornmeal, polenta can also be made from finely ground yellow or white cornmeal.There are a lot of cooking festivals in all the Veneto where you can taste the baccalà. Take a look at the advertising posters around the cities where there is a “specialità baccalà alla vicentina” sign; you can taste this dish at those festivals, spending only between 7 and 10 Euros. The fish is really good with a typical white wine of the Region, like Berganze Bianco for example, or Sauvignon Bianco dei Berici.


At the second place of the most common dishes in Veneto we are placing Zaleti, yellow cornmeal cookies, with a tasty, granulose consistency, usually made with lemon rind and grappa-soaked raisins; the word giallo means yellow in Italian and in Venetian dialect the word is zalo. Hence zaleti (or even zaeti– you leave out the L) translated, are little yellow biscuits. These biscuits are sweet, buttery with a hint of lemon and they have a lovely texture due to the contrast of the polenta and the soft sultanas.
The best place to taste them is Venice and its little isles around the city. If you want to taste them without paying a lot of money, visit one of the Venetian bakeries.

Third place goes to Poenta e oxei, literally polenta and birds: birds used could be different, it depends from what the hunters catch; in Veneto hunting is still a sport and people like eating skewers with different kinds of bird meat, bacon and bacon fat with a polenta spoon. It is a real gourmet dish!

Next, a first course dish, called risotto alla trevigiana, with red radicchio salad. Don't forget that radicchio is also used in meatballs and many other start courses, because of its particular taste.

Pasta e fagioli
Another important dish of Veneto is Pasta e faxoi, pasta with beans: a simple, very creamy soup made with smashed beans and homemade pasta; it's really tasty and nourishing and it is often served in the typical trattorias, Italian rustic restaurants. The original recipe is made with eggs, flour, beans, onions, celery and carrots, and it's always a success.

At the sixth place, you can find another first course dish, called risi e bixi, a traditional dish made with rice, bouillon and green peas, and sometimes with bacon. Really delicious

Risi e BixiWe go to the seventh place, a typical recipe from Venice, sarde in saòr, sardines with onions, really loved by sailors. Sardines have to be cleaned, washed, then fried and perfused with wine and vinegar, then pine nuts and sultanas have to be added with marinated onion. The taste is really particular, you have to try it to see if it fits your palate!

Another poor but tasty dish of Veneto is frittata coi bruscandoi, an omelet with wild hop; the kind of wild grass that is plucked in the spring near the ditches. The problem is that this dish is not so often served by the local restaurants any more, so regarding vegetables with eggs, you can try ovi e sparaxi, eggs with white asparagus, dressed with oil, salt, pepper and vinegar. This dish is delicate and delicious, and at the same time cheap. You could taste it in many cooking festivals around Bassano del Grappa, where white asparagus are a local product.

Finally, we will mention, fr
itoe, little, sweet and rounded pancakes with sultanas, pieces of apple or other fruit, served with icing sugar or filled with cream or zabaglione.


Small restaurants are a cheap way to taste all the local and reanimated flavors, but if you want the real food of Veneto, ask a housewife for some hospitality. How to pay her? By washing the dishes, of course!


Last modified on Saturday, 08 February 2014 11:55

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