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Taste Traditional Venetian Desserts

An assortment of traditional Venetian cakes, lights pastries and biscuits
can be found in the pastry shops & bakeries of Venice

A visit to Venice offers the opportunity of discovering its fascinating local cuisine which includes amazing desserts. The most popular sweets from this region are frittole or frittelle - fried doughnuts made of flour, yeast, eggs, sugar, lemon and Marsala wine. 

You will come across a variety of these addictive pastries however the most typical are frittelle alla Veneziana (with rum soaked sultanas and pine nuts), frittelle with pastry cream and frittelle with zabajon (zabaglione).

If you have the opportunity to go to Venice during the Carnival, make sure you stop at one of the pastry shops to have soft warm frittelle. They go well with a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or a glass of dessert wine.

Great Venice dessert tours

Venetian galani or crostoliVenetian galani or crostoli

Castagnole are another Carnival treat which are very easy to make. You simply can't resist these soft fritters covered in sugar. For those who like crusty desserts, your choice should be galani (also known as crostolichiacchierecenci). 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 wine or some kind of liqueur, as it causes the pastry to become very light and crisp when fried.

Galani or Crostoli are crisp snack spiked with grapa and dusted with sugar served during the Carnival season. They are quite addictive, so it you try one you probably won't be able to stop eating them. Crema fritta is made of a thick custard cream which is breaded and fried. This crispy golden sweet is usually enjoyed during the Carnival in Venice.

Venice is also the home of traditional cookies which are ideal for soaking 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. Baicoli are usually served with coffee and zabaglione.

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.

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.

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.

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. To find other interesting Venetian desserts buy one of many interesting Italian cookbooks.

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