Cuisine and Wines of Veneto

The cuisine of the Veneto region of Italy can be divided into three main parts, the coastal areas, the plains and the mountains each of which produce their own specialties. The Veneto is essentially an agricultural region which produces wheat, maize, olive trees, vines and mulberry bushes.

On the north-east coast you will find Veneto, home to Venice, where Risotto is found in many guises, made with fish and seafood along the coast and asparagus, pumpkin or other vegetables further inland, with specialties such as Risotto alla Sbirraglia: spring chicken and lean veal braised with rice and vegetables and Risotto Primavera: diced string beans, artichokes, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes with peas and asparagus tips and braised with rice in the spring. Coastal cuisine uses simple, tasty foods and you will find Vongole, Clams, Mussels, Prawns, Scampi, Shrimps and a favourite, Cuttle fish. Another specialty is “Baccala” dried salt-cod which is widely found throughout the area, the most well-known recipe is Baccala alla Visentina which comes from the city of Vicenza, a slow cooked dish of which there are many variations, all being the “right one”, also Bacala mantecato, Cod, crushed with parsley and olive oil. Polenta is a main dish here, as it is in most of the northern regions, and is often served with porcini mushrooms. Polenta is made from ground corn and is a staple food of much of northern Italy, traditionally it took nearly an hour of stirring the corn in the boiling water to achieve the perfect consistency with a stirrer called a mescola, the Polenta would bubble and spit from the pot not unlike a volcano, nowadays there are quick polentas which can be made in about 5 minutes and save a lot of man-power and time. Veneto has its own style of pasta called Bigoli, a long spaghetti -style of pasta, a traditional recipe is Bigoli in salsa in which the pasta is tossed together with a sauce of anchovies, olive oil and onions or Bigoli con l’Anara served with a sauce of duck livers, vegetables and herbs. Peas and beans are also popular and found in many of the regional dishes. On menus you will find “Risi e Bisi” rice and peas, “Risi e figadini” rice with chicken livers and “Pasta e Fagioli” pasta and beans. In the past Venice saw the import of many spices brought in by ships and these have had an influence on many of the exotic dishes and sauces of some of the cities favourite dishes. High quality red radicchio, from Treviso and white asparagus from Soppressa Vicentina are grown here. In the plains grilled meats are very popular, often cooked on a barbeque, here you will find pork, beef and chicken, polenta is also grilled as an accompaniment.

A popular regional dessert is Tiramisu – translates as “Pick me up” and originating in the town of Treviso , which tastes absolutely fantastic made in true Italian style. There are many variations but it is basically made from dipping finger shaped biscuits into Marsala wine and strong coffee and then layering with a whipped mixture of egg yolks and Mascarpone and dusted with a thick layer of cocoa powder. Baicoli (vanilla biscuits) and nougat.

Popular drinks originating from the region of Veneto are Prosecco, which is a popular sparkling wine and can also be used as a base to cocktails, Pinot Grigio one of the most prestigious wines of the region, Bianco di Custoza, also one of the best wines of the region and comes from near Lake Garda, and lastly Spritz which is a wine-based cocktail. Spritz is prepared with Prosecco, a dash of a bitter liqueur, such as Campari, and then topped off with sparkling water, it is served in a large glass and often over ice and garnished with a slice of orange.

List of Italian DOCG wines of Veneto

Amarone della Valpolicella
Bardolino Superiore (Rosso), produced in the province of Verona
Colli di Conegliano, produced in the province of Treviso
Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio or “Fior d’Arancio Colli Euganei, produced in the Padua
Colli Asolani Prosecco or “Asolo Prosecco”, produced in the province of Treviso
Conegliano Valdobbiadene, produced in the province of Treviso
Lison-Pramaggiore, produced in the province of Treviso and straddling the border with Friuli
Malanotte Raboso Superiore Produced in the Piave area
Montello, produced in the province of Treviso
Recioto di Soave (Bianco as normale, Classico and Spumante), produced in the province of Verona
Soave Superiore (Bianco as normale, Classico and Riserva), produced in the province of Verona
Recioto di Gambellara (Bianco)
Recioto della Valpolicella
Prosecco Produced in certain zones of Prov di Treviso

List of Italian DOC wines of Veneto

Arcole produced in the provinces of Verona and Vicenza
Bagnoli di Sopra produced in the province of Padova
Bardolino produced in the province of Verona
Bianco di Custoza produced in the province of Verona
Breganze produced in the province of Vicenza
Colli Berici produced in the province of Vicenza
Colli di Conegliano produced in the province of Treviso
Colli Euganei produced in the province of Padova
Corti Benedettine del Padovano produced in the provinces of Padova and Venezia
Gambellara produced in the province of Vicenza
Garda an inter-regional DOC produced in the provinces of Verona (Veneto) and Brescia and Mantova (Lombardia)
Lison Pramaggiore an inter-regional DOC produced in the provinces of Venezia and Treviso (Veneto) and Pordenone (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)
Lugana an inter-regional DOC produced in the provinces of Verona (Veneto) and Brescia (Lombardia)
Merlara produced in the province of Padova
Montello e Colli Asolani produced in the province of Treviso
Monti Lessini produced in the province of Vicenza
Piave produced in the provinces of Treviso and Venezia
Prosecco produced in the province of Treviso
Riviera del Brenta DOC produced in the provinces of Padova and Venezia
San Martino della Battaglia an inter-regional DOC produced in the provinces of Verona (Veneto) and Brescia (Lombardia)
Soave produced in the province of Verona
Valdadige an inter-regional DOC produced in the provinces of Verona (Veneto) and of Bolzano and Trento (Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol)
Valpolicella produced in the province of Verona
Valpolicella Ripasso produced in the province of Verona
Venezia produced in the provinces of Venezia and Treviso
Vicenza produced in the province of Vicenza
Vin Santo di Gambellara produced in the province of Vicenza

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