What's better than street food for an hungry tourist? A new city, new places to discover and few time to sit at a restaurant: these are the ingredients that make street food an essential attraction for every country and for earning the love of tourists and visitors. Italy is one of the world homelands of street food, so tourists and visitors fall in love with it, so it's not that difficult. Each city boasts typical dishes to be tasted during a walk or sitting on the steps of an arcade, enjoying the view of a breathtaking landscape on the slopes of a mountain or on a fairytale promenade. Venice and the Veneto are no exception. The region is full of mouth watering street foods. Are you ready to discover them all?
Walking through the streets of Venice, it is easy to come across small typical taverns called “bàcari”. The specialty of these places are cicchetti (shots), the most famous street food in the city which consists of small slices of bread or croutons, stuffed in several ways: creamed cod, cuttlefish, vegetables, mozzarella or meatballs of all kinds. Cicchetti are quick foods, perfect to be eaten on the fly, in one bite without stopping for long. Usually, in fact, the bàcari are very small places and do not have a large number of seats, which is why cicchetti have become a street specialty to be enjoyed everywhere.
Scartosso de pesse
One of the most ancient typical dishes of Venice is the scartosso de pesse (foil of fish): it is a mixed frying of fish and shellfish accompanied by a slice of polenta, all wrapped in a yellow paper cone (the "cartoccio") from which it derives in name of the specialty. There is evidence of the scartosso dating back to the 1600s when the "fritolin" were in vogue, places in which freshly caught fish was fried and offered to fishermen returning from a fishing trip. Today the scartosso is one of the favorite choices for street food lovers visiting Venice, comfortable to handle, easy to eat, great for enjoying the flavors offered by the sea.
Typical dessert of the Venetian Carnival, fritole are pancakes stuffed with raisins or pine nuts and often served with custard or chocolate. Like scartosso, fritole also represent an ancient specialty that dates back to the 1700s, at the time they were considered the national dessert of the Republic of Venice. They were born as street food, were prepared in wooden shacks and served hot to passers-by. In ancient times they were fried with oil, pork fat and butter in huge pans set on fire. The original recipe hasn't changed much over the years, oil is used for frying but the result is quite tasty especially if served hot covered with powdered sugar. The Carnival of Venice is one of the most fascinating festivals in the world and the fritole make it even more palatable for the greedy.
Bussolà of Burano
Let's go a few kilometers away from the center of Venice to disembark in Burano. A typical dessert of the Venetian town is the bussolà, a handmade biscuit made from flour, sugar, butter and egg and prepared in the shape of a ring. The origin of bussolà lies in the ancient tradition that saw the fishermen's wives prepare the dessert for their husbands so that they would maintain strength while working, thanks to the huge amount of butter provided in the preparation. Today bussolà are a perfect street food for all visitors who go to Burano, a small pearl in the Venetian lagoon that is worth discovering and savoring step by step. Bussolà can also be found in other locations in the Veneto, the typical ones of Burano stand out for being larger in size.
Venetian style mozzarella in carrozza (in carriage)
Even if it is not a venetian dish, mozzarella in carrozza (in carriage) has become one of the most sought-after dishes of the Serenissima. The typical recipe (born in Naples in the 1800s) consists of a slice of mozzarella closed between two slices of stale bread, passed in eggs, milk and fried. The Venetian recipe differs from the southern one due to the use of the sandwich instead of stale bread and the addition of an anchovy. The frying is also different, the Venetian mozzarella in carrozza is wrapped in a leavened batter before being fried. Bacari, stalls, trattorias mozzarella is easy to find and is always good as long as it is served hot. A mouth-watering appetizer and fingers too ... perhaps that's why we are waiting for the pandemic to disappear.
Belluno's polenta and sausage
Let's move now from the Lagoon and go north, in particular to Belluno where a street food specialty is sausage and polenta or sandwich with cheese and pastin, that is coarsely chopped beef and pork and seasoned with spices and salt. Belluno is certainly not one of the hottest places in the world and sometimes a stop is needed to warm up the stomach and heart.
Folpetti in the square in Padua
We conclude the review by going to Padua, more precisely in Piazza delle Erbe where an icon of Venetian street food stands. This is Max and Barbara's Folperia, a kiosk where you can taste folpetti, a Paduan specialty based on baby octopus seasoned with green sauce. Folpetto is the ideal snack to accompany an aperitif, it is served hot with bread. An unmissable half for street food lovers. For those who are not satisfied with just folpetti, Folperia offers a delight based on fresh fish: fried fish, beef, prawns and cod.