The days are getting longer, the layers will be getting lighter (perhaps not just yet) and the flavours are changing once again. This is a small post just to refamiliarize ourselves with what can be found in these months and how ‘we’ are using them.
In Venice, there is a strong sense of constant movement, like a tide. It can become familiar, as the speeds and sounds change throughout the day, and throughout the year. It is unbelievably rewarding when you recognise these subtle shifts of time, it means that you have been in Venice long enough to witness more than the fast-paced sightseeing tour.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, the passage of time is felt most profoundly in the market. Our Private Dinner Service reflects the seasons often with Chiara’s own inventions, but also those recipes that have evolved naturally from the ingredients available.
This means whatever season you choose to come to Venice you can rely on tasting fresh, creative interpretations of the region’s finest produce. Paired carefully not to mask but to enhance their natural flavours.
A shortened list of the Fruits and Vegetables in Season;
- tangerines, clementines
- apples- (Bramley Apples particularly)
- Purple sprouting broccoli
Oranges are at their prime between late winter and early January. Not only do they visually bring a welcome slice of colour to any plate but the Vitamin C is brilliant at boosting the immune system and cutting through the stodgy and heavy foods that run rife in these months. Clementine’s overflow in the market between November and February. However, they are not from the Veneto region, the best clementines arguably come from Calabria.
A fruit that is in season all year round, but is most popular on Menus during the winter months (ours being no exception) is the humble and versatile Apple. This is produced in the local area, and because there are so many variations, it is especially important to recognise their characteristics so as to use them appropriately.
Winter Salad of Speck, Apple, Chicory, Gorgonzola and Walnut
This is another one of Chiara’s inventions and our tribute to the wonders of winter. Not only do the colours reflect the more muted tones of a winter landscape, but the flavours are very noticeably distinct from any summer salads. The unique flavour combination makes a memorable antipasto which we hope will remind you of Venice in winter.
Speck, although not as beautiful as the romantic Prosciutto, it most certainly makes up for this in flavour. A slightly gamey taste, it is the perfect baseline for this earthy salad.
Apple, the natural acidity and sweetness balances well against the fat of the speck, cleansing the palate and bringing another texture and colour to the plate.
Chicory, has a very particular flavour. A pleasing bitterness that is reminiscent of winter in it’s uncompromising flavour. Famous in the Veneto region, it is too often overlooked.
Finally, the combination of Gorgonzola and Walnut is well known. The nutty-creaminess is often associated with Christmas time. The familiar bitter sweetness of the walnut, compliments the powerful flavour of gorgonzola.