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Our Breakfast Cake for Ferragosto

It’s Ferragosto week in Venice and a long weekend is ahead of us. Many Venetians have left Venice by now while others spend their days on one of the beaches, either in the Lagoon or on the Lido.


With summer comes the need for easy and quick dishes and and festive ones for Ferragosto. That’s why our fruit tarts le crostate di frutta della Nonna  are so useful !!


You need less than 20 minutes to prepare them, baking time excluded. We have at least two basic variants in Venice, standard and flavored dough. My family love menta or cassis liquor, amaretto and rose essence. Each family has their own style as I have seen in a cookbook describing the traditional food of Venetian noble families.

They surely did have the knowledge and money to afford the ingredients. After all, blossom essences and spices were amongst the most expensive goods in Europe for 1,400 years.  It’s just in our times, that is in the last two hundred years, that spices have become relatively inexpensive and accessible to many people. Formerly using spices in food was a sign of nobility and wealth.


Our summer cakes always come with woodberries, in Venice we get them from the Dolomiti mountains. The Lagoon is simply too hot to grow wood berries with the exception of red and white currants which take rather well.


Venetians love blueberries, blackberries, red and white currants and raspberries. At the Rialto Market I’ve even seen mountain strawberries from the Martelltal in the South Tyrol ! Here’s our Ferragosto cake – Crostata alle pesche, mirtilli e menta piperita – Peach, blueberry and spearmint cake. Just click on the picture to download the recipe ! It’s easy and so refreshing and we do hope you’ll try it !!

Cucina Speziata VE_Venetian Woodberry Cake

10 responses to “Our Breakfast Cake for Ferragosto”

  1. Yvonne Avatar

    Those berries look so tempting and luscious.

    1. Iris Avatar

      Woodberries are so good, especially the mirtilli (blueberries) from the Belluno area, they are big and sweet. In the hills Colli Euganei near Padua, you also find many woodberries and they’re offered at the Rialto Market. That’s why I love August :-)

      1. Yvonne Avatar

        I’m looking forward to summer here in south-east Australia. We have some large berry orchards in the area.

      2. Iris Avatar

        Which berries are your favourites? I love the blueberries ☺

      3. Yvonne Avatar

        I like blueberries, but I LOVE raspberries, warm off the shrubs.

      4. Iris Avatar

        That sounds great, warm raspberries are are real treat !!

  2. The Slow Pace Avatar

    That crostata looks perfect for Summer!

    1. Iris Avatar

      It’s a wonderful crostata, flavored witha hint of amaretto essence which is an ancient Venetian tradition. The mixture of nectarines, blueberries and spearmint leaves is very refreshing :-)

  3. GJB Avatar

    The glistening fruit on the crostata is beautiful…I love the contrast of the yellow peaches and the blueberries. I’m glad to see that amaretto is used…it’s what I regularly put in my baking instead of brandy or rum !

    1. Iris Avatar

      Thank you, I ‘m very happy that you like our crostata!! Amaretto is a typical flavor of Venetian cakes, and it works well with the fruits too ☺

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