The Flavors of Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Friuli map         

 Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a northeastern region of Italy, bordering Austria to the north, Slovenia to the east, the Adriatic sea to the south and the Veneto region to the west.

          The landscape of the region varies dramatically; in the northern areas it is rocky and rough and the cuisine includes a lot of game and grilled meats, as one heads south toward the Adriatic Sea, the land is more flat and dry, therefore seafood plays a large role in local dishes.

The culinary culture of Friuli-Venezia Giulia is heavily influenced by the nearby Slavic countries. 

          The cuisine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia unites the many cultures present in the region. Corn was brought from America to Europe during the 16th century and locals learned it grew well in Italian soil. Europeans were informed that Native Americans made a porridge by adding water to corn meal and serving it with various meats, cheeses and sauces. Polenta was initially a peasant food, as its cultivation is quite inexpensive. However, over time it has become a staple in upscale dining because of its versatility. 

Spiedini con Polenta e Funghi (skewered mixed grill of chicken, beef, pork tenderloin, sausage & applewood-smoked bacon; served with soft polenta & sautéed mixed mushrooms)

Spiedini con Polenta e Funghi

          A Central European influence is evident in that that dumplings and soups are found more frequently than pasta in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Hearty soups made of beans and vegetables are common in the mountainous areas in the northern area of this region. 

 Zuppa di Fagioli e Bietole (cannellini bean soup with root vegetables, Swiss Chard, tomato & Grana Padano crouton)

Zuppa di Fagioli e Bietole

          Perhaps the most well-known product of Friuli-Venezia Giulia is San Daniele prosciutto. San Daniele is a small town in Friuli; it is DOP protected (a certification that ensures products are locally grown and packaged. It also guarantees that the product was made by local farmers and artisans, using traditional methods). The production of this prosciutto must follow a specific set of guidelines and pass a final inspection to be considered San Daniele prosciutto. 

Prosciutto San Daniele (San Daniele prosciutto with housemade garlic crackers, black olives & shaved montasio cheese)

Prosciutto San Daniele

Visit your favorite Il Fornaio location October 2nd – 22nd to taste the flavors of Friuli-Venezia Giulia!

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