Venetian cuisine is made with few ingredients but rich in taste. Although the city of Venice is famous all over the world for its immense beauty, art, architecture and history, few know its refined gastronomic tradition.

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Venetian cuisine: simplicity and influences from various cultures

Venice was entirely built on water, built on hundreds of islets within a vast lagoon separated from the sea only by thin sandy docks, consequently most of the dishes are related to the sea. The same blend land and sea, combining flavors that combined together create delicious dishes to the eye and palate appreciated by locals and visitors from all over the world. Gastronomic simplicity combined with refined culinary preparations, the result of the union and mixing of different cultures and traditions, especially thanks to the use of local raw materials combined with others that came from faraway places thanks to the dense commercial network of the maritime republic. Fish, the cornerstone of Venetian gastronomy at the base of many recipes, has been the main livelihood of the inhabitants of the lagoon since the first settlement period (5th century AD). It is no coincidence that Venice, as described by the writer Tiziano Scarpa, has "the shape of a fish", in fact seen from above the city resembles a large sole lying on the bottom of the lagoon.

Given the mercantile soul of the Republic and the commercial relations of the city with the most important ports in the Mediterranean and the intercontinental ones, in Venetian cuisine we find ingredients such as raisins, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, dates, of oriental origin. Ingredients that enter the Venetian gastronomic tradition to make dishes washed down with the various "malvasias", from which the well-known places for pouring the homonymous wine of the island of Cyprus, a Venetian colony from 1489 to 1571. The Greek-Byzantine, Jewish, Arab, Northern European, Armenian, Turkish influences are still partially evident in Venetian cuisine starting with the important use of spices. Herbs and spices were used to preserve the food, the latter determined the economic wealth of the seaside city: cinnamon from Ceylon, cumin from North Africa, cardamom from India. And still the cloves from the Moluccas islands, the poppy, the opium one used in the pharmacopoeia of the numerous spezieri, the ginger from the East, the nutmeg and part of its envelope, the mace, from the Moluccas islands. Certainly the king of Venetian cuisine is pepper, in its various varieties, originating from India, widely used to flavor various dishes.

A culinary trip to the city of Venice must be combined with a tour of the iconic sites known throughout the world, discovering the monuments and treasures hidden in the lagoon. You can purchase your Venice Pass to get around with ease and enjoy many benefits that will make you appreciate your holiday even more. Discover Venice Pass

Gransapor Restaurant: taste the best Venetian gastronomic specialties in the heart of Venice

Since 2012 the brothers Emiliano and Ermal Biraku restaurateurs in love with the city of Venice and its millenary history, the result of contaminations from different cultures, have started their adventure in the world of catering by inaugurating three typical restaurants where they resume classic Venetian gastronomy while remaining faithful to tradition in a guise modern and innovative. In the three locations Gransapor Restaurant, Garden and Bistrot not far from Piazza San Marco, the Church of San Zaccaria and the Campo Santa Maria Formosa, each characterized by a unique and unmistakable charm, you will taste the best of typical Venetian cuisine with the best raw materials , interpreted with skill and curiosity by chefs to satisfy the most refined palates.
In the heart of Venice, on the Fondamenta dell'Osmarin, a stone's throw from the famous "Devil's Bridge" or "Bridge of Temptation", Gransapor Restaurant and Gransapor Bistrot will welcome you in a welcoming environment enjoying the best of Venetian cuisine sitting comfortably on a table at the edge of a canal where you will hear the stories of the gondolier who crosses the canal on his gondola. From "Gransapor Garden" in Salizada San Lio you can relax during your walk through the Venetian streets in a beautiful garden, being able to taste many dishes chosen from a menu full of delicacies and goodness.
Gransapor Restaurant keeps the tradition of Venetian gastronomy alive by letting visitors know the typical recipes related to the history of the city: among the most renowned and tasty dishes of the gastronomic tradition you can taste Risi and Bisi, a typical dish based on rice and peas, Cuttlefish ink Spaghetti, Creamed cod, Linguine alla Bùsara, Sardines in Saòr, Bigoli in sauce and the inevitable Venetian liver. A variety of appetizers, tasty pizzas, delicious first and second courses, desserts, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes are also available.
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The most famous dishes of Venetian cuisine


Among the most renowned recipes are sardines in saòr, an exquisite appetizer of Venetian cuisine, a dish born from the need of Venetian sailors to preserve fish during long sea crossings. A recipe prepared in a bowl with fried sardines which are served with onions cooked with vinegar and caramelized, pine nuts and raisins.

Creamed cod is a delicate and refined recipe, originally a poor dish that today has also become a gourmet dish. It is prepared with stockfish, dried cod, cooked in water and milk and expertly stirred, served as an appetizer and single dish.

Venetian liver is a very simple and very tasty recipe with great contrasts: on the one hand the intense flavor of the calf liver, on the other the sweetness of the onion of Chioggia. The other ingredients are: sage, butter, extra virgin olive oil and broth.

Bigoli in salsa are a dish of the Venetian gastronomic tradition. They are the equivalent of "pasta with sardines". It is a tasty dish with a simple dressing: very thin sliced onions, sardines, extra virgin olive oil and bigoli: large spaghetti with a porous and rough surface and a good consistency that manages to retain the sauces. A dish with a salty and marine flavor. 

Rices and bisi were the dish of the doges of the Republic of Venice. The main ingredient is peas and it is a dish between a soup and a risotto. The other protagonist of the recipe is rice from the vialone nano variety, a semi-fine rice, with a rounded and medium-sized grain with the characteristic of swelling during cooking and absorbing more of the seasoning.
The linguine alla bùsara has a refined and spicy taste: according to legend, the bùsara was the steel pot that fishermen used to cook fish on fishing boats, according to others the term derives from "bùsaria" or lie-cheat in reference to the "scampi cheated ". A dish where the sweetness of the meaty langoustine and the spiciness of the chili pepper are mixed.
The cuttlefish ink spaghetti are inevitable, as well as being tasty and make the happiness of adults and children because of their raven black color. In the Venice lagoon, cuttlefish ink has been an ingredient used since ancient times. Originally it was used to season cuttlefish cut into chunks, then someone thought to use it also with spaghetti.

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