Tuesday, February 4, 2020

5 Things to Do in Friuli Venezia Giulia: A Foodie's Guide

Ever heard of Friuli Venezia Giulia? This is an autonomous region located in the northeast of Italy bordering Austria in the north and Slovenia in the east. Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of the most culturally diverse regions in Italy. The presence of people of different ethnic backgrounds, the unique history and terroir have given rise to a multiethnic cuisine that any tourist interested in traditional food should try.

In this article I tell you 5 things to do in the region.

1. Visit the main city of Trieste, which is located along the Adriatic coast and used to be the port of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. It is a cosmopolitan city inhabited by people of different ethnic backgrounds, including Slovenians, Austrians and Serbians.

2. Check out Piazza Unita’ d’Italia, which is the largest town square in Europe next to the sea. It hosts various buildings, including the City Hall.

3. Try an“osmiza”, an Austrian tradition that involves farmers who prepare and serve meals using their fresh products in a farmhouse during a certain part of the year. It dates back to the 18th century, when the Austrian ruler Joseph II emanated an edict that allowed farmers to sell their products directly to consumers for eight consecutive days. In fact, the name “osmiza” derives from the Slovenian word “osmen”, which means eight. Today, however, osmizas are open for a longer period, usually around a month, during which tourists can taste local products such as salami (usually made with pork meat), cheese and wine.

4. Taste the most iconic product of Friuli Venezia Giulia: Prosciutto San Daniele, known worldwide as high-quality salami. The pigs used to make it come from Italy and are fed only with milk and cereals. The production process involves several steps. First, the legs of the pig are covered with marine salt and are pressed so the salt penetrates well into the meat and the leg gets a “guitar shape”.  The legs are cleaned with warm water and dried in very humid places. Next, they are left in hot and cold storage rooms. The change of room temperature is fundamental for the loss of water. After that, the Consortium checks the quality of the legs and, if the standards are met, it marks the leg with the trademark along with the ID number of the company. The product is aged for a minimum of 14 months. In the mouth, this prosciutto is sweet and has a very soft consistency. 

Slices of Prosciutto San Daniele DOK Dall'Ava

Ageing of prosciutto San Daniele

5. Try the local desserts such as Putizza goriziana, a dessert made during festivities. Its name derives from the Slovenian word “potica”, which means “rolled sweet”. It is filled with chocolate, milk, walnuts, cinnamon, toasted and grated bread and rum. 
In Trieste you will also find a special version of the strudel, called "Struccolo De Pomi" or "Strudel di Mele Triestino", filled with apples, raisin, cinnamon and pine nuts.

So here you have it: 5 foodie things to do in the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Location: Trieste TS, Italia