The coexistence of different traditions and cultures has led to a hodgepodge of the classic Venetian biscuits with the richer and more elaborate delicacies of the Swiss and Austrian pastry makings. Not to mention the Arabian influence, mainly related to the use of spice, and the Hebrew one.
Confectioners belonged to the Scaleteri Guild, named after the scalete, doughnuts or wafers which were apparently wedding sweets. Traces of this Guild can be seen in the names of the Calle and Corte degli Scaleteri in Campo Sant’Agostin, named after the Scaleteri, whose Guild was founded in 1493.
Though we’re an osteria, we’ve decided not to let our guests down by not offering them some dessert. At the end of the meal, you’ll find on your table three traditional kinds of Venetian sweets: bussolai, zaeti and esse. A harmonic variety of biscuits to dip in sweet wine.
Venice’s traditional sweets
The beloved bussolai are round-shaped, easily prepared and best accompanied by sweet wines such as vinsanto and Muscat of Alexandria.
The same dough can be given the form of an ess, thus getting a biscuit which is simply perfect for mogiar (“dunking” in Venetian)!
Zaeti are typical Venetian small biscuits made of maize flour and raisins. Their name is due to the colour which characterises them, a strong yellow: since zàlo, in Venetian, means “yellow”, here you are the reason why these biscuits have such a weird name.
What else to say? Enjoy your meal and don’t forget to save some space for a dessert!