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Exceptional Venetian Dishes you Simply Must Try

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Regardless of whether you're romantic by nature or not, Venice will surely take your breath away. All who have been to the beautiful Italian city advise that you keep all your senses wide open should you set foot there. With its breathtaking architecture, winding canals and endless mysterious passageways, Venice stands as one of the most attractive cities in the world.

Besides all of the remarkable sights to see, we mustn't forget about the food in the city of canals. Venetian cuisine, with its simple ingredients, enticing aromas and fantastical taste, is one of the best on the planet.

As with all other areas of Italy, Venice is famous for its traditional specialties. Visiting the city allows one to discover stunning gastronomical traditions. Naturally, due to the city's seaside location, there is a wide abundance of fish dishes, seasoned simply with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, parsley and spices. Even though the lagoon is known for its quality and diversity of fish, freshwater fish is also revered.

Traditionally, the fish is marinated or salted before eating, with the aim of preserving it for longer periods of time. One of the most popular fish specialties in Venice is "baccala mantecato" (cod in sauce). The dish consists of cod from the colder, northern seas. It is salted thoroughly, with any excess salt removed over the course of 4 days and then the fish is dried in the open. Finally, the cod is soaked for awhile in water and a sauce is made from tomatoes, basil and olive oil.

Other popular fish specialties include sardines "sarde in saor", literally meaning "sardines dipped in an aroma". They're made with onions, sweet and sour sauce, pine nuts and raisins.

Sarde in Saor

Polenta, even though considered a traditional dish in all of Northern Italy, is most popular in Venice. Traditional polenta is made by mixing hot water and corn flour in a copper cauldron, then stirring for 40 min. or until it becomes thick enough to the point where it sticks to the spoon.

After placing it on a platter, it's cut into slices and served at the table. Usually, in Italian cuisine, it's used as a garnish or in its quality as a stand-alone dish with various toppings - mushrooms, meat, sausages, anchovies and others, in fried or roasted form.

Delicious gnocchi, which are now famous throughout Italy and the world, are a Venetian culinary tradition, dating back to the 16th century and linked to the festivities surrounding the Carnival of Venice.

The original recipe uses potatoes, flour and eggs, with the dish then served either with melted butter, feta cheese and salvia, or with other aromatic sauces.