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The typical cuisine of Veneto is a simple cuisine,  mostly based on rice and polenta. In Veneto there are three territorial bands: the coast, the countryside and the mountain; the first one is based mainly on fish products, the second one on agricultural products and the latter one on pastoral products. Among the most famous regional food we can mention codfish, “sarde in saor”, bigoli (a type of pasta), risotto with radicchio from treviso and of course polenta, an indispensable side dish for almost all foods.


Sarde in saor


We propose here the recipe of sardines in saor, typical appetizer of the Venetian lagoon based on sardines, so much loved by the Venetians to be also cited by Carlo Goldoni, famous playwright and librettist.

Due to the long tradition of this dish – the first historical evidence date back to 1300 – there are many variations regarding the proportion of ingredients. The recipe we propose below is considered the most traditional.

Doses are calculated for four people.


  • 700 gr of fresh sardines
  • 1,4 kg of white onions (the weight of onions is always twice that of the sardines)
  • flour
  • seed oil to taste
  • olive oil to taste
  • ½ glass of white vinegard
  • 1 spoon of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grape sultanine to taste

Recipe preparation

For the sardines:

  • Clean the sardines and remove their heads.
  • Fry the sardines in hot oil for a couple of minutes, then dry them with blotting paper.

For the “saor” (it means the sauce in venice dialect):

  • Cut the onions into slices and fry them in a frying pan with high edges; let them brown gently for about twenty minutes, simmering with white vinegar in the meanwhile. Then, remove from the fire.
  • Now take a pan and start alternating a layer of sardines with one of onions in vinegar (saor).
  • Marinate it for a day and then serve cold