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Venetian cook book

The first printed cookbook was published in Venice in 1475, but the first Venetian one only in 1908. Why so late, given that Venice was one of the most avant-garde cities of the time and that it had also distinguished itself for the spread of publishing? The reason deals with its culinary tradition too rooted in its culture that the city did not need to pass it on.


However, a Venetian manuscript called the Cook’s book from the 1300s is still preserved in the Casanatese Library in Rome. It reports the recipe for ‘saor’. It is a condiment or dressing typical of the Venetian cuisine, ideal for seasoning fish and vegetables. There are 134 recipes listed in the manuscript dealing especially with meat dishes. It is precisely this manuscript that inspires the first printed book of 1475, which emphasizes that sea fish is unhealthy and makes you very thirsty. It also explains how to clean it by removing the entrails not from the belly, but from the gills. If fish were roasted the entrails were left.

Fish broth

In 1570 broth made with fish and meat was already known. Sea bass was preferred to other types of fish and mutton, kid and veal were used for meat broth.

At the end of the 1600s the French cuisine took hold in Venice and became a fashion. It influenced the way Venetians prepared desserts. The most appreciated one was zabaione, served early in the morning to hunters.


Venetian Rice soup and liver were introduced at the end of the 1700s and were very popular as well as ‘peoci’ that is mollusks were prepared starting from the 1800s.


The recipes we still know today they come about just in the beginning of the twentieth century when finally the first Venetian recipe book was written and published by an anonymous person.

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