Bácaro is named after the bustling taverns of Venice. Bácaro has always been a great meeting place for friends, it's where you can "drink a glass of wine while chatting and eating among friendly laughs and pats on the shoulders". At a bácaro guests enjoy an 'ombretta' (a glass of wine) with some 'cicheto'. Cicheto is derived from the Latin word 'ciccus' meaning 'littlest quantity', and bácaro is derived from the word 'Bacco' which is the God of wine and intoxication. In the past bácaros hadn't had very good reputations; in fact today, when you want to name a place that is very casual, with plain furniture and a smiple layout you name it bácaro. Not much has changed in the Venetian bácaro, it is still the best place to meet your friends, have a good laugh, eat great food and enjoy a glass of wine. Even the Cavatappi Bácaro still stands almost 1,200 years later!
The city stretches across 118 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea. Throughout the region’s history, Venetians have maintained contact with both people on the Italian mainland and with people in diverse and faraway countries. As a result, the region’s culinary tradition has a variety of dishes linked to the different origins of ingredients. This is the reason why a traditional Venetian meal sometimes includes baccalà (dried salted cod), originally made available by ships that traded on Baltic routes, as well as precious spices first brought to Italy from Asia, fresh vegetables from the islands, fish from the lagoon, and game hunted on land.
Traditional grains like wheat, rye, spelt, oats, barley and millet, which have been cultivated since Roman times, were incorporated into Venetian cuisine, along with American corn and potatoes. Initially, corn was cultivated only in the region of Schio, but its use eventually spread, allowing for the creation of dishes like polenta in the Venice region.
Marco Polo, the famous Venetian explorer, trader and merchant, visited Asia and brought rice back, which has become a key ingredient in Venetian cuisine. Rice is incorporated in many popular Venetian dishes, such as risotto as well as the famous Venetian soup risi e bisi (rice and peas).
Because of its location on the water, Venice has always made use of all its seafood resources. In fact, baccalà first became popular after the Roman Catholic Church imposed rules in the 16th century forbidding the consumption of meat during certain times of the year.
Authentic Venetian cuisine creates a harmony of colors and flavors. Venetian cuisine is a culinary art that is influenced by Central Europe, and also sensitive to refined French cuisine, which arrived in the region through foreign chefs employed by noble Venetian families.
Popular staples of Venetian cuisine include bellini (peach prosecco), negroni (campari and orange) and spritz (white wine and sparkling water).
Over thousands of years, the history, culture and culinary exploration of those living in the Venice region have come together to create what is today known as magnar e vivere a Venezia or the “Venetian way of life.”