In the 1990s, I remember that breakfast in Venice meant just a cup of cappuccino. There was the odd croissant to accompany your coffee, and breakfast wasn’t something that Venice was famous for … but then, things were sooo different behind the scenes. Eating a healthy breakfast at home, the merendine and crostate (fruit cakes) made by grandmothers certainly were something to consider …
By now one can say that breakfast has become an essential part of our “lifestyle” in Venice, much more than just cappuccino e cornetto as you will discover on this page and on our Facebook Page, Breakfast in Venice!
Family Breakfast and Breakfast at the Bar-Caffé:
Venetian families have always loved warm breakfast. On weekends, we take our time to prepare that crostata or almond cake we’ve taken a mental note of during the week, passing by a certain bar-caffé. On weekdays, before starting work, Venetians usually take their first breakfast in the “bar at the corner” next to their home or workplace.
Cappuccino is the standard beverage in the early morning, but it might as well be hot chocolate, strong black coffee – un espresso, a glass of warm, spice-flavored milk foam (my neighbor likes just that) or even orange juice, depending on the season.
Whenever we have time to stop for more than five minutes, a warm, jam-filled and jam-glazed buttery cornetto (croissant) is the standard breakfast in Venice. There’s this delicious apricot jam-filled cornetto covered with powdered sugar, a favorite pick-me-up of mine. a staple at Pasticceria Bonifacio located near Campo SS Filipo e Giacomo. And sometimes, breakfast for me consists in a slice of that delicious, all-Venetian plum cake which they also have on offer… This type of cake is a favorite here in Venice, and we’ll share this recipe in our upcoming book, Roses and Spices – In the Kitchen with Nonna.
L’ombra – our Second Breakfast in the Late Morning.
Ombra in this context means “tiny glass of wine” which Venetians have been drinking since times immemorial in Piazza San Marco in the shade of El parón de casa, as the Campanile is called. By now, instead of the first tiny glass of wine, as a Venetian you might go out around 11 am to drink another cup of cappuccino, some freshly pressed orange juice (so delicious and inexpensive at Pasticceria Rosa Salva, for example), and a restoring treat called tramezzino. Venetians are masters in creating tramezzini, and there’s a reason for it ..
Weekly Breakfast Postcards from Venice.
This is our weekly post “Breakfast with a View”: Every Monday from 19 March 2018, we will publish a scene from a Venetian bar-caffé. Discover how we start the week in Venice and what the seasonal breakfast offer is like in Venice, week after week 🙂 You will also get to know seasonal breads and treats like Easter Focaccia and the Christmas cakes such as Mandorlato and Pandoro.
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Breakfast con Stile and Breakfast Trends.
This is the Venetian culture of baking cakes and cookies which is part of our culinary heritage. Until about five years ago, many pastry stores in town were oblivious to the ancient recipes which had developed during more than a thousand years in town. But if you take a very close look, and if you know what to look for, you can make out a breakfast trend in town.
Venetian pastry stores and bakeries take up ancient recipes, and the picture below shows you an example. This torta gregawhich I spotted in the window of Pasticceria Dal Mas near the train station is based on an ancient recipe the Venetian pasticceri inherited from the Greek community. We will tell you more about this special cake and n diversity and would like to show you the huge offer where you can get a good quality breakfast. Next, I also want to explore how the Venetian heritage of spicy Levant cooking is reflected in breakfast offered in Venice to this day … and yes, there are those traces …
Breakfast in Spring.
Now, this is my favorite season. My absolute favorites are enjoying cappuccino. Then I’d continue to take a look at the markets in Via Garibaldi and continue to the glasshouse and plant nursery Serra dei Giardini, where I’d eat some eggplant toast with home-made chervil sauce on the terrace against their fragrant pittosporum hedge.
Coffee and Coffeehouse Culture in Venice
Did you know that it was in Venice where coffee beans first embarked in Europe, probably from Damascus, on board a merchant cog in 1263? That was long before the first
The first coffee house in Piazza San Marco opened rather late if one consider that coffee had been known in Venice long before. It was Caffé Florian whose story we are going to tell in an upcoming post. To get familiar with coffee trends and fully enjoy Venetian coffee specialties, we are going to write a series of blog posts soon, whose links we will share in this chapter.
To taste our family recipes, I would like to invite you into our home, and below, you can see the house Grandmother lives in. I love joining her for an early breakfast in her second-floor living room which goes out on the lively campo, with the spring sunlight flickering against the curtains of the French windows that open up to a little balcony. Or, we might enjoy breakfast in the kitchen, overlooking a quiet canal. As a child, I loved breakfast on the plant-overgrown terrace in the secret courtyard which was once part of the premises of the San Zaccaria Monastery. Stay tuned, this home tour and window into our kitchen will be online soon.