A visit to Venice offers the opportunity of discovering its fascinating local cuisine which includes a range of amazing desserts. The most famous are fried desserts such as Venetian frìtole, crostoli, castagnole then variety of unique cookies and cakes such as pinza Veneta or fregolotta. The most popular Italian dessert - tiramisu originates also from Veneto region.
The most popular sweets from this region are frìtole (or frìtoe in local dialect) - fried dough balls made from flour, yeast, eggs, sugar, lemon and flavoured with grappa. You will come across a variety of these pastries however the most typical one are frìtole veneziane - with raisins and pine nuts. These addictive sweets can be also filled with zabajon, pastry cream or even chocolate.
Favette or castagnole are another sweets traditionally prepared during the Carnival time in Italy. They have a size of a chestnut and have a soft texture and a lovely aromatic flavour that makes them extremely moreish.
We have proven recipes for a different versions of these sweets and we can't decide which one are the best. Castagnole with ricotta are super soft, butternut squash castagnole with its bright orange colour and unusual version of castagnole with sweet chestnut flour.
For those who like crusty desserts, galani or crostoli are the best choice. For this dessert a sweet dough is flattened into thin strips and then deep-fried and dusted with icing sugar. The dough should always include some kind of liqueur, as it causes the pastry to become very light and crisp when fried.
Sweets similar to crostoli are also found in other Italian regions and are known under different names. Therefore, During Carnival, you'll find cenci in Tuscany, frappe in Central Italy, bugie in Piedmont, chiacchiere in Lombardy etc. Another simple dessert enjoyed during the Carnival in Venice is "crema fritta" which is thick custard cream, breaded and fried.
Venice is also the home of traditional cookies which are ideal for dunking in some sweet dessert wine. Zaeti (also called zaletti) are cookies whose name comes from the local word for yellow as they are made from cornmeal.
Bussolai (or buranelli) are ring shaped shortbread cookies originally from the island of Burano in the Venetian lagoon. Their name comes from the word "busa" which, in the Venetian dialect, means hole. Baicoli are cookies which take their name from the shape of a sea bass. These thin cookies remain consistency for a long time and are usually served with a coffee and zabaglione.
Fregolotta is a simple dried tart made of short crust pastry with flour, eggs, butter, almonds and aromas. This cake was born in Treviso and makes part of the traditional products of Veneto. It is a typical dessert of the Holiday periods and Epiphany together with another typical dessert of Veneto - pinza.
Pinza Veneta is a rustic cake made of polenta and wheat flour filled with dried fruits such as raisins, figs, dates and is flavoured with grappa, fennel seeds and orange zest. This cake is a part of the tradition for Epiphany in the Veneto region of Italy.
Pandoro (meaning golden bread) is a sweet bread usually prepared for Christmas and New Year. It originates from Verona where it took its name from its intensive yellow colour which comes from the large amount of fresh egg yolks. Pandoro has an attractive look with its star shape and is dusted with icing sugar.
If you are looking for a dessert that makes a perfect ending to any meal, you should try one of the Italian classics - tiramisu. This light dessert is a combination of fluffy cream made from mascarpone cheese, eggs and coffee-dipped ladyfingers. The tiramisu dessert originates from the Veneto region but today is spread throughout the Italy and worldwide.