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 Amazon.co.uk. Shipping from Amazon.com 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