When it gets really hot in Venice there are a few possibilities to cool down, culinarywise. One of my favorites during these hottest days of the year, called le giornate di solleone, is anguria (water melon). Did you know that anguria grows right around the corner? The Veneto is the third largest producer of water melons in northern Italy and the water melons you find at the markets in Venice grow in the Rovigo area and adjacent Emilia-Romagna.

Here I’m taking you for a stroll on Strada Nova in the early afternoon. The Rialto Market is closed by now and Venice is taking a rest from the heat. Yet these market stalls are open and offer delicious-looking angúria with light green and emerald-colored stripes outside.

Eating a few slices of anguria warm from the sun so not to disturb your stomach always works when you’re really thirsty. Water melons are so rich in water and vitamins A and C and in particular, kalium. They replenish vitamins and minerals you lose when spending too much time outside in the parching sun. Even when we keep anguria in the fridge, we wait for half an hour before we eat it. Never eat fruit right from the fridge, Grandmother would say.

So if you are planning to visit Venice in the summer, eating a few slices of water melon can help you save a lot of troubles. It’s a favorite home remedy to keep away circulatory issues and will convey more energy to keep you going on hot summer days!

Anguria grows mostly in the provinces of Rovigo and Padua but also around Verona and Treviso. You don’t find large-scale water melon fields in the Lagoon, though there are some cultivated on the vegetable islands, in particular on Mazzorbo and on Sant’Erasmo.

We love eating anguria as appetizer with Prosciutto di San Daniele.  Choose a slightly smoked variant of prosciutto and make salsa verde, a refreshing green sauce, consisting of prezzemolo (parsley), capers and chili, all mixed with olive oil and worked into a pesto. We also love to eat anguria first thing in the morning, especially accompanied by scrambled eggs. If you come to Venice between late May and late September, expect water melon to appear practically everywhere, as simple dessert but also on the breakfast table, substituting fruit salads, or being a colorful part of them.

We love mousse all’anguria, water melon mousse as dessert and as in-between course when creating a festive summer menu. This is such a quick and easy recipe, so we share it in this post. Cut a few slices of anguria into tiny pieces, crush them and add a  few tablespoons almond milk. Add a hint of cardamom and cane sugar, and it’s ready to enjoy!
If you’re rather into ice cream, here’s our recipe for our vegan water melon gelato recipe:
Mix one cup sweet cream with half a cup of almond milk, 3 tablespoons cane sugar and two slices of angura (crushed). Put the bowl into the freezer for half an hour, take it out and stir the mixture again. Repeat after 30 minutes, and after another hour, your home-made ice cream should be ready. Wonderful to nourish your summer skin from inside, by the way !!

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2 thoughts on “Mousse All’Anguria and Water Melon Gelato from Venice

  • My nonna was born in Padova and she always told me how she liked going out to eat anguria on Summer evenings! :)

    • That’s what my nonna also loves – there’s no summer evening – or late afternoon – without anguria. The mousse was made for me when I was a small child. Many recipes here are recollections of my childhood in Venice ..

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