Cook like a Ve-ne-tian: Settemari’s “The Venetian Fork”

“Se i voga come che i magna i riva sempre primi.” If they rowed like they ate, they’d always come in first.

This phrase is off the back cover of the hot-off-the-San Marco Press’s “Forchette Veneziane, A Venetian Cookbook” compiled and produced by members of the Settemari (Seven Seas) rowing club and cultural association. This club has the voga (Venetian rowing) at its heart, but always has a plethora of cultural initiatives in the works, from theatre productions, to Burano lace courses, to the Venetian of the Year award that they created over 30 years ago.

The latest is a charming cookbook, a compilation of recipes from Settemari members, both Venice-born and long-time local foresti da chissà dove, foreigners from who knows where.

This authentic collection, rather than choosing to be in one language or another, is in both (or  more precisely, all three): English on the left side, Italian (or Venetian) on the right. Works perfectly whether you’re attempting to learn one or the other (or the other) of them — or resigned to only one.

The recipes, instead of trying to be necessarily representative or dogmatically Venetian, are instead what people cook nowadays, and have for decades, for themselves and to share — which in Settemari’s case, is quite often. Did you know duck was a big part of Venetian cuisine? (You would if you thought about it for a bit, given that they’ve been quacking about the lagoon since before there was a Venice.) Try the Anatra Ripiena, a Redentore option when duck is a must-serve. Of course capesante, but Antonella M has included “Scallops with Cardoons,” adapted from a meal she ate at “a prestigious restaurant in Torcello” some time back. There’s Cus-cus di Barena, which requires neither cooking nor much space (read: boat). Pasta e fagioli yes, but for a hundred people (post regatta), with the advice that “the colder it is outside, the more people like it.” You find classics like the perfect Risi e Bisi (rice and peas), and others, that to be true to the recipe you may have to move here: “Artichokes and Friend Chicken” call for “60 castraure (first pruned) artichokes from Mazzorbo…

The Venetian Fork is €10, and you can purchase it here in almost any bookstore around town; it’s available now at the San Marco Press UK online sh0p (for US shipping as well), and seems to be available for international shipping from Shipping from will likely commence once they’re stocked.

Forchette Veneziane – Le ricette “casalinghe” della Settemari
A Venetian Cookbook – Recipes from the “Settemari” Club

San Marco Press
128 pages
ISBN: 978-0956782618


12 thoughts on “Cook like a Ve-ne-tian: Settemari’s “The Venetian Fork”

  1. Murissa Maurice

    I would definitely think about buying it. I appreciate a good cookbook with pictures but this has a lot of history within the food which I love.

    Thanks for sharing!

    The Wanderfull Traveler

  2. Meredith

    I would love to buy this cookbook and would be happy to pay shipping to the US. Just back from Venice (May)and probably won;t make it again until Feb or April,so can’t buy it anytime soon in Venice.

    p.s. I love your blog… you know where we can get the purses/towels with the spritz recipe on them?

  3. MaryK

    Thanks Nan – just what I need – another Venice book! Hopefully it will still be available in early December when we arrive – but it would be good if they could add it to the online shop!

  4. Living Venice Post author

    One of my favorite things about the pub is that there are no pictures food, just of the people who contributed the recipes and shared the dishes. Sort of like coming to the theatre and watching the audience instead of the show.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was available online elsewhere eventually…we shall see.

  5. Yvonne


    I’ve left an answer about your fish graffiti, on that particular post. (Just in case you don’t get back to look at it for awhile.)


  6. Living Venice Post author

    I’ve just updated the post — it might be available for international shipping via, or another amazon near you. If it works out for anyone, let us know, and I’ll do the same.

  7. Leanda

    I received my copy from San Marco Press, it’s a great book – thanks for the recommendation – and the customer service at San Marco Press was the BEST I have ever experienced. If you want a copy do get it from them this is the UK shop, there is a link to the USA shop on the right. Leanda x

  8. Living Venice Post author

    Thanks so much for the update – I revised the post a bit to reflect it. I’m delighted you like the book — but not at all surprised! Enjoy, and thanks for getting back to us.

  9. Pingback: Italy on a Plate - The Week in Italian Food: July 24, 2011 - Food Lover's OdysseyFood Lover's Odyssey

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