Regional Flavors of Italy – Friuli-Venezia Giulia

By Alessandra Bianco, MA 2013-14.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is perhaps not a region of Italy that you’re very familiar with, but I assure you its cuisine is among the all-stars of Italian food. This region in the extreme north-eastern part of Italy, which shares a border with the Veneto region, Austria, and Slovenia, as well as coastline on the Adriatic Sea, has a unique history, starting as a Roman colony, then going back and forth as property of Venice and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and then as a part of Italy (though even that status was in flux in the early 20th Century). This incredible history has had an impact on its cuisine that you can see today through sampling regional specialties. 


Cured Meat
Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP – “The Patriarch and Bishop-Count of the Patriarchy of Aquileia demanded taxes for the town of San Daniele be paid in ham. The origins of Prosciutto di San Daniele date back to these Middle-Age times, but its mass production did not begin until the 17th century. This guitar-shaped meat is aged, uncooked, and reddish-pink in color. The twelve to thirteen month sea-salt treatment process gives the meat a sweet, delicate flavor with an unmistakable aroma. San Daniele del Friuli, in the province of Udine, is the production zone. Note: The retention of the hog’s leg is a defining characteristic of Prosciutto di San Daniele.” –

Some of the best wines in Italy come from this region and include famous varieties such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Verduzzo di Rocca Bernarda, Tocai and Picolit. – See more at:

Wheat, Rye, Barley
Orzo- There are two types of orzo (barley) found in Italy, both in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Mondo or hulled barley, which has been minimally processed to remove the hull, is used primarily in soups. Perlato, or pearled barley, has been processed further in order to remove the germ and some of the bran. The grains are rounder, and it contains about 30% less nutrients.

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Image ©

Polenta-Like many other northern regions of Italy, polenta is a staple food can be found be in abundance in this region.
Paparot is a soft cereal made from cornmeal flavored with spinach and garlic. It can also be mixed with grated cheese and fried into flat wafers.
Canaderli which are dumplings that are served in broth or with meat. Potatoes and ricotta are used to fill a savory strudel called strukli.

Vegetables, Beans, and Meat
Boreto alla graisana, or turbot chowder seasoned with garlic, olive oil and vinegar.
Grado. Fasûj e uardi is an herb flavored barley soup, thick with beans, pork, onion and celery.
Bòbici– Ham and beans are cooked with potatoes and corn.
Jota– soup made from sauerkraut, beans, sausages and potatoes, cooked with sage and garlic.
Goulash – Venison or rabbit stweed in a wine sauce called salmi.  , a beef and pepper stew flavored with hot peppers, onions, paprika, and tomato, is served with polenta.
Rambasici- stuffed cabbage, and patties of mixed beef and pork.
Muset e bruada– sausage made from pork rind, first boiled and then fried in salt pork, onions and garlic. Bruada (pickled turnips) are served as a condiment with this. Sauerkraut and horseradish are offered with other sausage dishes.

Gubana- rich yeast-raised cake rolled up jelly-roll style before placing in a round pan to bake. Its cinnamon flavored filling contains dried and candied fruit, nuts, and chocolate.
Presnitz- another dried, candied fruit and nut filled pastry, is coiled like a snake before baking.
Castagnoli- chestnut cookies.
Chifeleti- Fried biscuits made with potato enriched dough, and pumpkin fritters called fritulis.

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Image ©

All information in this post was compiled from and is copyrighted by

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