Table of contents:
- 1. Colussi | Calle S. Luca 4579, Sest. Saint Mark
- 2. Rizzo | Various outlets
- 3. Milani | Castle 4744
- 4. Seeded | Castle 6481
- 5. Cosetta Scarpa | P.le S. M. Elisabetta 1, via Lepanto 10 - Lido
2023 Author: Cody Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:20
Few cities can boast a gastronomic map like Venice.
If, wandering through calli, courtyards and fields, you raise your eyes and observe the nizioleti, the rectangular hand-painted frescoes on the plaster of the houses, useful for getting lost in style so as not to get lost in the city), you will discover dozens of calli del forno, courts of the forner, sottoportico del pistor, calli di spezieri, sugar and malvasia, rii del pestrin, herbaria and beccarie.
Someone should invent an app to get around by discovering the historical places of taste, going by thematic areas: bread, spices, sweets, meat, cheese, fish and so on.
Now that I think about it, if you give me a second, I'll try to develop the idea and then we'll meet to continue, okay?
That's it (I already see my beautiful app, with clean-cut icons and all the tourists talking about it and downloading it…).
How to proceed then for the culinary-cultural exploration?
We have already talked about pastry shops and places to buy fish. But it is also true that every self-respecting lunch begins with the basket of bread on the table: so let's go in search of the better bakeries or older than the city.
A few lexical tips can come in handy.
In the world of Venetian white art, the forneri, that is the bakers, who baked the bread, by the pistori, that is the artisans who they kneaded and shaped the bread (there were also the scaleteri, manufacturers of puff pastries called scalette).
Furthermore, if you think that counterfeiting and adulteration are today's problems, know that forneri and pistori, gathered in guilds since the 13th century, were subjected to very strict controls by the authorities who supervised the quality of the flour, that of the bread, the methods and places of sale.
A kind of today's Nas, to understand each other.
If you want to learn more, in Salizada SS. Apostoli, in Strada Nova, under a portico there is a plaque from the 1700s engraved with prohibitions, fines and penalties for offenders.
However, since you already seem to show signs of a certain languor, I don't waste any more time and immediately take you to the first temple of artisan bread.
1. Colussi | Calle S. Luca 4579, Sest. Saint Mark
It is the longest-lived oven in Venice. Born in 1840, he reached the seventh generation. Bake about 80 types of bread, as well as pastry products. The bread destined for almost half of the city starts from this semi-hidden place in a very narrow street.
If from the outside the appearance is that of a small artisan shop, the inside of the oven (which only insiders and nosy people like me can access) is a cave made of rooms, narrow spiral staircases, bags of flour, mixers (5), fermentation cells, baguettatori and ovens.
The owner, in the presence of whom it seems to be faced with a great sage, a cross between the wisdom of Gandalf and the style of the lawyer Agnelli, is the president of the Venetian Bakers Association, Paolo Stefani.
For years he has been waging a battle for the defense and consumption of artisan bread against industrial precooked bread. A fight against the windmills? It is not said: in the Lord of the Rings good triumphs.
In front of the counter, a piece of advice. There are really many types of bread, but you choose the one rosette, the only surviving format among the dozens of the Venetian tradition (the tastiest ancient names? Bovolo, with a spiral shape, Ciabatta, Ciopa and Ciopeta, Montasù, Bigarani).
It seems disarming simplicity to do, actually modeling it by hand is difficult: a single loaf is rolled up into folds, until the last one that closes in a spiral and gives the round shape. Only the old masters do it by hand: all the others have it done by a screwing machine, convenient isn't it?
2. Rizzo | Various outlets
Another ten-year brand with several points of sale throughout the city and about thirty employees.
Despite the recent closure of the historic shop in San Leonardo, where the production of bread and confectionery products has been maintained, the family (made up of father Alfredo and his sons Guido, Nicola and Michele) has not abandoned their loyal customers.
Bread (and sweets) continue to be baked daily and sold in the shop in Ca 'D'Oro, as well as in other shops.
Loaves and baguettes await you.
3. Milani | Castle 4744
We are in the area of Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Ruga Giuffa. Born in 1926, it has a loyal clientele. And also a curated and updated Facebook page.
Taken over by employees of the previous owner, it produces memorable simple and multigrain loaves, braids and long breadsticks. You can also find pizzas and biscuits.
And if you can't take a gondola ride, you can console yourself with the gondola iron in short pastry and covered with chocolate. It is almost more satisfying than a real tour of the canals. And it solves the problem of seasickness (and of gondoliers' songs).
4. Seeded | Castle 6481
Here we are in calle della Testa, in the area of the Civil Hospital (which by the way is beautiful). Here the Semenzato, a couple in life and work, compensate for each other by combining manual skills and entrepreneurial spirit, kneading skills and attention to management.
In short, whoever gets up in the middle of the night to bake bread can count on the valuable help of his better half. Here, too, craftsmanship and good choice.
5. Cosetta Scarpa | P.le S. M. Elisabetta 1, via Lepanto 10 - Lido
Is there a reason to go to the Lido not during the delusional period of the Venice Film Festival? Well yes: in addition to being able to sing out loud "The winter sea" on the Line 1 vaporetto that takes you there, the reason is Cosetta Scarpa's bakery.
Together with her husband (but the success is due to her) she manages the bakery in Piazzale Santa Maria Elisabetta, which awaits you as soon as you get off the pier. The counters are smiling and kind and the windows are neat. Exactly how any self-respecting bakery should be. Are you still there looking at them and smiling? Hurry up, there is a long line behind you.
The death of artisan bakeries, as well as that of historic shops in the city, is a serious problem: for this reason, do not settle for badly made "bread", which is placed on your stomach and like the annoying guest at Christmas does not fall apart anymore.
Walk around town and look for bakeries that do things seriously. Democritus is said to have been able to resist hunger just by smelling the bread. Well, maybe let the philosophers do certain things: you find your favorite bakery and eat your fill.