All recipes were collected by Lucia Fanton, a thoughtful housewife who, among the veniceXplorer users first responded to our request for help.
A special thanks to Luigi Zanon or "nono" (Granddad), a restaurateur and repository of a great deal of ancient Venetian gastronomic knowledge, and to Gianfranco Ballarin for his witty reflections.
It is very well known that in cooking, there are many versions of the same recipe, especially the popular ones. Examples are family recipes that are handed down from generation to generation and family members use the same specific condiments, fragrances and spices. The collection of recipes here are published without any pretension to establish that these recipes might be the best nor the most widespread between the average ancient or modern Venetians.
Other interesting information is also given in some recipes which show how ancient Venetians made use of the dishes or its relation to Venetian life and history. It can be seen in the recipe, Sardee in Saor, which reflects the seafaring life and the exchanges with other Mediterranean people. The Zaleti, on the other hand, is inspired by the Piave River’s Zattieri (trunk-Raft transporters) and the Ghetto’s Beans, a reminder of the city’s ancient Jewish community.
It is hard to say with certainty that all Venetian recepies are original with Venice. Venice has been, for more than 1000 years, a world centre for business, military and religious traffics, driven by a ruling class that was cultured, if not Apollonian, and enterprising in every sense. The Venetians have even placed a man like Andrea Gritti very near the Sultan.
Soon after the wearying and spartan beginnings, just when the lone resources of the boggy Lagoon were employed, the fast growing population turned toward imports, transformation and trade, filtering and adopting the good and the better from all the different cultures and places reached. Through time, a cuisine was obtained which has transformed and adapted to the Venetian taste. This eventually led to the development of many foods around the world that are variegated and fabled cookery with names lie in all the Mediterranean Languages such as those of the Near, Middle and Far East, of the North, of the West Regions.