Friday, June 27, 2014

Foodie Friday: Dining in Venice

Italian food has always been a favorite of mine, and when I lived in Rome and traveled all over the country, I made sure to get my fill of everything authentic Italian. But one dish I failed to try while in Venice was sardèle in saòr–apparently a must-try. I had never even heard of it before seeing an article on Condé Naste Traveler's website claiming it was something you couldn't leave Venice without trying. I missed the gondola on that one, I guess.

So, what is this unmissable delicacy? The fancy version: a type of cicheti (Venice's take on a pre-dinner light bite) that includes fried sardines marinated in white onions, vinegar, raisins and pine nuts. The plain version: sardines. I'm not a big fan of sardines, but I believe in trying everything once, and the way this is prepared makes it sound like it could be palatable.

There are other kinds of cicheti, according to the article, including baccalà mantecato (dried salted cod cooked in milk and served on toasted bread or a wedge of polenta) or polpette (small, fried meatballs). The pre-dinner dishes are best eaten as they are prepared (no special requests) and enjoyed with wine, cocktails or beer.

On my next trip to Venice–whenever that might be–I plan to sit along the canals and enjoy a nice plate of sardèle in saòr (or another cicheti) and flute of prosecco as the sun floats slowly toward the horizon.

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