10 sweet treats
Venetian haute patisserie
Yet another important chapter in Venetian traditions. A vast assortment of pastries for every taste can be found, including light pastries, biscuits and buns. We recommend 10 that you absolutely must try! You will find them in the best pastry shops in Venice, but also in some of the well-stocked bakeries. A delight for the palate and great for the soul!
- The baìcoli are typical biscuits which were once sold in a tin box but they can now easily be found in cardboard boxes. They are dry biscuits, cut into very thin layers, which were once eaten during long journeys by ship. They are cooked with a few simple ingredients such as flour, yeast, sugar, butter and eggs. They’re fantastic when dipped in creamy eggnog, hot chocolate, coffee or a sweet wine.
- Next in line are the bussolai buranelli which are either circular or “S” shaped. They are a specialty from Burano and are made with eggs and butter. Perfect for completing a meal, especially when served with a sweet wine.
- Zaleti too are Venetian biscuits that are cooked with polenta flour and raisins. The name comes from the flour’s yellowish color. They are served with sweet wine usually at the end of a meal in the historical center taverns.
- A Venice Carnival is not complete without the fritole, or rather frittelle (similar to pancakes), a dessert whose origins date back to the Renaissance and in 1700 it became the national cake of the Venetian State! You can find them made the Venetian way, which is simple and made only with raisins, or they come filled with cream or zabaglione.
- Another typical sweet is the focaccina Veneziana. It’s delicately soft on the palate and it’s delicious for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. It’s a mixture made of milk, eggs, flour and butter.
- If you’re ever in Venice during the San Martino (11 November) festivities you will see a cake shaped like a knight on horseback on display in the windows of pastry shops and bakeries. It’s the San Martino, a typical sweet made of pastry with sugar decorations, jellies, chocolates and sweets. For those who have a sweet tooth there is also a version of this sweet which is covered in dark chocolate.
- A must try is also the pan del doge, a sweet made from flour, sugar, butter, eggs, dried figs, nuts, honey and milk. This loaf was always present at the Doge Valier banquets and today it retains the taste of a long time past.
- The Mori di Venezia too is an excellent sweet, made with shortcake cookies, dark chocolate and a cascade of hazelnuts or almonds.
- The baci in gondola which are strongly tied to tradition, and tremendously romantic, are made with two soft white pastry layers held together by dark chocolate.
- And if you’re in the mood for overdoing it you should try the gigantic colored spumiglias which dominate the bakery windows. It’s like eating a cloud of sugar!