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Venice Recipes and Curiosities
from the Venetian Cuisine

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This note collected by Umberto Sartory


 

 

I Cicheti Venessiani

Tavern Nibblers in Venice

Custom of the Venetian Tavern
This is not a recipe, just some notes on traditional custom
Venetian Custom of the Cicheti

Most Venetian Taverns, like elsewhere in Europe, serve wines by quart, half and whole litre and by glasses.

What is really typical is to offer in sale to the patrons a wide variety of titbits sticked on toothpics, to be eaten standing at the bar or on small dishes at the tables.

Bars are often surrounded by showcases where dishes and dishes of nibblers, in seafaring taste and not.

Many of these titbits are in trouble with the tightening of sanitary laws, but as of to day this Local Tradition still resists.

The most common, and as far as I can remember the most ancient, are:

The Mesi Vovi (Halved Eggs)
Boiled eggs cutted in halves, seasoned with oil salt and pepper.
The Folpeti
Little boiled octopusses dressed with various clear sauces of oil, celery, parsley, salt, pepper; Often served in symmetrical halves.
The Spiensa
Thin slices of bovine spleen, stewed and savoured with oil and spices.
The Sepoine
Young and very small cuttlefishes, roasted or fried.
The Rumegal
Morsels of bovine rumen boiled an dressed with salt and oil.
The Patatine
Roasted, stewed or fried potatoes.
The Canoce
Boiled squills peeled and dressed with oil, salt, pepper and parsley.
The Masanete
Small lagoon crabs in pre-ovulation period. Stewed in their shells.
The Moeche
Same crabs, but in ecdysis period, when lacking in shell, fried.
The Museto
Thick slice of stewed cotechino (italian pork sausage) sat on a small bed of toasted yellow maize porridge.
The Bacalà
Dried salted cod: on toast or small dish: mantecato (creamed), Vicenza´s way, and conso (seasoned: similar manner to that called Capuchin´s way). You´ll rarely still find it in fried fillets, similar to the mannor alla Giudia (Jewish´s way).
The Frito de Minuagia
Small fishes frying: anguee (clams), marsioni (similar small fish), totaneti (very small squids).
The Polpete
Fried croquettes made of meat and bread softened in milk, with parsley and sometimes garlic.
The Garusoi
Murex murex shells, Those used in the ancient to extract the purple dye. Along the seventies of past century, autochthonous species of this shell were mostly superseded by a more vigorous but less dainty invasive specie, coming from tropical seas. The Garusoi of this new specie are also called Noni (Granddaddies).
The Capesante
Exactly the shells of Shell Oil Company, large and fanshaped, usually au gratin.
The Peoci Gratinai
Mussels gratiné in the oven.

Aside you will often see dishes of other local cuisine courses, like Risi e Bisi, Cuttlefish Risottos in Black and oter seafaring risottos, Pasta e Fasioi (soup of pasta and beans).

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