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Cook or taste?

The BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hotel Sant’Elena has proposed you a tour of some of the best bacari in Venice, suggesting the best traditional dishes and locations to visit during your holiday.

May be you have fallen in love with the local gastronomic flavors… so today we’ll teach you cook just like Venetian do!

Venetian is a rich city under many aspects, culturally as well as gastronomic. It is easy to see why, given that for centuries it had commercial relations with distant lands, such as the East (land in which the Venetians learned the use of spices) and Northern Europe.

The key points of Venetian cuisine are: polenta, cod, fish, rice and beans.

Let’s see two simple every day home-cooking recipes which can easily be recreated anywhere in the world:  Sarde in Saor and Baccalà mantecato (cod)
We start with the notorious Sarde in Saor, sweet and sour sardines. This dish used to be prepared by fisherman on their boat and it solved the problem of preserving fish for many days and during the Renaissance people started adding raisins and pine nuts.

Sarde in Saor

Ingredients for 4 people: 750 gr fresh sardines, 750 gr white onion, 1 glass white wine vinegar, flour, 50 gr pine nuts, 50 gr raisins, salt, oil to deep fry.
Wash the sardines under cold running water, remove the heads and the innards. Flour the sardines on both sides and deep fry in boiling hot oil until nice and golden. Remove them from the oil, place them on kitchen paper to remove excess oil, add some salt and leave to rest.
Now thinly slice the onions. Sautè the onion in some oil until they become soft and golden, then add the glass of white wine vinegar. Bring to boil then switch the heat off.
Now take the sardines and place one layer in a small glass oven dish. Place on top some of the onions and carry on making layers of sardines and onions (if you are using the pine nuts and the raisins add these as well to your layers). Finish with a layer of onions.
Put it in the fridge for minimum 24 hours, better 48 hours. Serve with grilled polenta.

The Baccalà mantecato (Creamy baccalà) in all Venetian recipes it stands for dried cod not salted cod.

Baccalà mantecato

Ingredients: about 300 gr of dried cod, garlic, bay-leaf, salt,pepper,olive oil, parsley

Preparation: cut the cod into pieces and place them into a pan full of water. Leave it in water for 2 days (change the water regularly).
After 2 days substitute the water with some lightly salted water, a bay leaf and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure to remove the foam which will form when the water starts boiling.
After 30 minutes, remove the pieces of cod from the pan and place in a container with high sides. Remove the skin and the bones form the cod and add 2 gloves of garlic. Take a wooden spoon and start to mix with energy slowly adding the olive oil 8just like if you were making mayonnaise). The quantity of the oil will depend on the capacity of absorbing of the cod. Carry on mixing till the cod will turn into a nice mousse like sort of cream. Taste and add salt if required. Add some pepper and use on fresh cut bread slices or grilled slices of polenta. Garnish with some parsley.
The difficulty of this dish is the mixing that can take up to an hour. To speed the process you can use an immersion mixer.

And if you are still in Venice and want to taste these savor recipes, try the little tavern “Cantina do Spade”, is just near Rialto market and they serve several amazing cicchetti!

Cantina do Spade

It is possible also to have lunch or dinner, actually we suggest to book you table in advance because it is quite small and so popular for the freshness of the food. Cantina do Spade is open every day from 10am to 3pm and from 6pm till 10pm.

A curiosity: the insigna “do spade” born in 15th century as the symbol of the innkeeper’s congregation.

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