So, what exactly IS cicchetti?! If you've never been to Italy—particularly to the Veneto region—you may have never head of it.
Cicchetti is an Italian-style of "small plates" bar food, quite similar to Spanish tapas which has become popular all around the world today. Cicchetti is a specialty of Venice, Italy, but this style of cooking—and eating—can be applied to many different types of Italian dishes. Who doesn't love tasty, small bites of food perfect to enjoy with a glass of wine or a cocktail?
Cicchetti is also great if you are planning an cocktail party or other special event in your home. Many of the dishes can be prepared ahead of time or are quick to throw together, and they offer options for nearly everyone no matter what their dietary restrictions or choices. It's a fun way to do something different and offer your guests a variety of tastes of Italy without spending all of your time in the kitchen—or spending too much money!
Here I'll share some more about the basics of cicchetti, including recommended cookbooks and recipe links, menu ideas, and cocktails that are perfect to prepare and serve at your event.
I am especially tempted by the ricotta, honey and pine nuts. Also the aubergine fritters.
Veronica - Yes, they can be a little difficult to find in Venice as a visitor. They don't tend to have much (if any!) signage; you kind of have to know what you are looking for (and of course, look for crowds of native Venetians hanging out in the streets with tasty treats in hand around a certain time of day. I did notice on my last trip that there did seem to be more places advertising cicchetti, perhaps as it has become more well-known and talked about on travel/food shows and articles.
And it really can be a fun and different idea for a party, with so many dishes easy to prepare in advance.
Oh my word I had never heard of this at all. I don't think I even noticed Cicchetti bars in Venice.
Your recipes are classy and elegant and would be a delightful alternative to the usual drinks party fayre. Thank you.