Two favorite Venetian antipasti we love to eat for Halloween

Until about ten years ago, Halloween wasn’t really known in Venice !! and 31 October held a completely different meaning. For centuries, farmers in the Veneto, in rural parts and in the Lagoon, have considered 01 November the first day of their year in an agricultural sense.

This day marked the time when they planted seeds for the following spring. The leaves of the mulberry trees lining the fields protected these seeds from the harsh northerly winds and Venetians set out to make jam, relishes, syrups and chutneys for the winter. My grandmother loves making pear-walnut-mulberry jam. The last days of October was used to harvest and properly store fruit and vegetables in the pantry.

Of course there are now Halloween Parties in Venice like elsewhere in the world 🙂 But you’ll also discover special varieties of antipasti in the Venetian bacari and osterie. It’s so colorful taking a look around the bacari right now, and we will present two favorite cicheti (antipasto in Venetian) made with pumpkin and seasonal produce. After all, pumpkins have always been a favorite fall vegetable growing south of Chioggia and the province of Rovigo.

With the Halloween mood in Venice being bright orange and red as you can see it in the pictures, pumpkin is the choice for lunch and dinner. Not just today, these recipes are also fine to taste in the coming weeks.

To give you a bit of an impression of what’s around here, I’ve included two favorite recipes from Grandmother’s journal. Zucca al parmigiano, parmesan-and-herb-coated slices of pumpkin, and zucca e pesce al cartoccio – pumpkin, herbs and fish baked in kitchen foil.

Venetians love cibo al cartoccio which can contain anything like fish, herbs, vegetables and even fruit. I used parsley, slices of cicoria (cicory) and sweet potatoes. By the way, did you know that patate americane – American potatoes as they are called here, grow in the Veneto near Vicenza?

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2 Comments

    1. I love sweet potatoes, such a fine comfort food !! It comes from the Veneto, just about thirty miles from Venice.

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