Tag Archives: venice

Venetian Food and Dreams

5 Dec

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Venice is a real special place to the Pick Me Up house and in Venezia: Food and Dreams, Tessa Kiros perfectly captures the magic and beauty of the city that we love. As well as featuring delicious cicchetti and trattoria-style recipes so typical of Venetian dining, the book is an open love letter to the city, splashed with memories and notes written by Kiros. The book is also stunningly beautiful – with gold-edged pages and foil detailed typography, and packed with rich photography of the food and scenery.

Along with Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook, this is my go-to Italian recipe book, not only for the recipes but for the memories it conjures of time spent in the city – evoking those evenings of aperol spritz, pizza in Campo Santa Margherita, and seafood by the lagoon. These books feed us week in week out, satisfying our appetites for food and dreams with staples such as polenta and sausages, crostini, risi e bisi, and any number of tasty risottos. We’re working up to sarde in saor.

Venetian cuisine really comes into it’s own when cooking for large amounts of people. For a recent dinner, held to celebrate the (alarmingly) five years since Grace and I were living in Venice, we cooked a family-style feast for our seven guests, with recipes taken from these favourite books. With prosecco, aperol spritz, homemade limoncello and tiramisu for dessert all taken care of by our Venetian friends, we concentrated on the savoury, serving a selection of anitipasti to start, followed by a deliciously slow-cooked chicken. The antipasti included crostini topped with rocket and walnut pesto and anchovy and chickpea, a platter of italian cured meats and caprese stacks of tomato, mozarella and bazil. The chicken, Kiros’ pollo con pomodoro in tecia, was slow cooked in a large dish with a stock made from blended tomatoes, celery, onion, wine, rosemary and parsley and served with a hearty helping of creamy polenta and roasted radicchio and red peppers laced with anchovy and capers. Va bene!

x Loulou

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Aperol Spritz, A Venetian Food Memory

30 Jun

According to Grace, I’m one of those people who recalls memories of significant events in their lives by what they ate at the time. It’s not that I don’t remember who I was with, what music I liked at the time, or what I was wearing (although that’s often best forgotten), but food and drink are always far higher in my consciousness and also, more often than not, the trigger for a meander down memory lane.

So, a recent sip of aperol spritz and I was back in Venice, on a balmy summer’s evening, enjoying a tasty candlelit dinner, and indulging in silly gossip. Granted, that was basically what I was doing – only in London, not Venice – but it was the brilliantly lurid-orange tumbler of aperol spritz – the delicious Venetian aperitif of choice, made with prosecco and aperol, a bitter-orange-flavoured spirit – that brought the memories rushing back so powerfully… Shopping for vegetables at the Rialto Market, eating pizza at dusk in Campo Santa Margherita, sampling the million flavours of gelato on offer in Campo San Barnaba, and sipping on even more aperol spritz in the club above the supermarket on Strada Nuova (I forget it’s name). Funny how all those memories involve food too.

To make the perfect aperol spritz, mix two parts aperol with two parts prosecco, top up with soda water, and serve on the rocks with an olive and slice of orange. Do not forget the olive and slice of orange.

What’s your fondest food memory?

x Loulou

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