…Italian Food History and Venetian Food Slang
is the Italian take on the British tea sandwich. Although the sandwich has become a symbol of modernity, sliced bread stuffed with various ingredients is actually an ancient preparation. One of the first recorded sandwiches, for example, was made in the 1st century A.C. by a rabbi named Hillel who stuffed two pieces of unleavened bread with nuts, apples and spices. In ancient Rome, on the other hand, there were stalls along the side of the road filled with vendors selling bread filled with a type of cooked ham. However, the sandwich as we know it today was invented in 1762 by count Sandwich. One evening, the count was in the middle of a card game and, not wanting to get up from the table, asked his butler to put the slice of roasted meat that he was supposed to eat for dinner between two slices of crustless bread, allowing him to eat without interrupting his game. When the food arrived, the count’s poker partners enthusiastically asked for “the same as Sandwich,” involuntarily coining the name one of the most classic snacks in the world. The tea sandwich spread from England to Italy in the 20th century, reinterpreted by the Futurists and by D’Annunzio as traidue (or “between the two”) to later become TRAMEZZINO.
Pronounced “chee-KET-eeh,” cicchetti are Venice’s answer to Milan’s aperitivo and to Spain’s tapas. They’re small plates of food, usually nibbled over glasses of wine and among friends in the evening or at lunchtime. The word Cicchetto derives from the Latin word ciccus that means “very small”.
Venetians call this pub crawl the giro d’ombra. Giro means stroll, and ombra—slang for a glass of wine—means shade. This dates back to the old days, when a portable wine bar scooted with the shadow of the Campanile bell tower across St. Mark’s Square in downtown Venice.
The bàcaro is a term that is hard to render: it is not exactly an osteria, not a restaurant, nor a wine bar, but a unique kind of place, with its own atmosphere – usually warm, cheerful and welcoming. It is the place where traditionally a small glass of wine, called an ombra, is served together with cicchetti.
(from Italian, spelled tiramisù [tiramiˈsu], meaning “pick me up”, “cheer me up” or “lift me up”) is an Italian dessert consisting of sponge cake dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavored with cocoa. At Acqua Alta we bake all natural gluten free cake in house and then prepare our signature Tiramisu. Enjoy its classic version or with strawberries!