Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cantine del Vino gia Schiavi, Cichetti at Its Best

San Trovaso is an area in the south east section of Dorsoduro in Venice, bordered by Fondamenta Nani, the canal closest to the church of San Trovaso. Another famous landmark in the area is the artisan quarter where gondola repair is undertaken. It's very small but highly recognizable by the timber clad buildings, a rarity in Venice. Most timber was turned into  pilings for supporting buildings and lining the canals.

If you walk down the right hand side of the Academia for 2 blocks, then make a right turn on Calle del Pistor and continue walking toward the canal, you will be at Fondamenta Nani. Cantine Schiavi is to the left just alongside a small bridge. It's hard to miss with the crowd that usually surrounds it.


This family operated wine business has kept their  neighbors satisfied and loyal for generations, now they exemplify the "real" Venice for tourists. Both their white and red Fragolino wines are worthy of a purchase, if only for sampling this grape that mimics the taste of fresh strawberries. You may also find fresh Fragolino grapes to taste while you're in the Veneto.

Whether made of meat or seafood, many of the cichetti are priced at one euro and the examples here are all made with bread as are many Basque pintxos, other European, great small bites.

Garnishes may be as simple as using nuts, capers or pickles, but can be more exotic such as shredded, smoked, red pepper to the left.

While the bread based cichetti are a bit more labor intensive, slices or chunks of cold cuts are just as popular. 

The salt from the cured pork can easily create a thirst that could easily require more drinking, only it's doubtful that anyone needs the excuse.

Here are two more bread based cichetti using fish eggs and smoked salmon, but I couldn't identify the cheese spread used on either. 

There is no word in my vocabulary to describe this item. The sliced seafood product in black and white must have been made of cuttlefish or squid in it's own ink, perhaps mixed with gelatin, then encased like sausage before it was cooked and sliced for this cichetto. Its mild taste was definitely "of the sea"  and I've finally found a word to describe it,memorable.
Another memorable cichetto is that made from pickled onion, anchovy and a caper. It always reminds me of Venice because I have never seen it anywhere else, except at home, where we recreated it for friends.


Schiavi makes a particularly good mantecato that you you might like to try before leaving.

This example of baccala mantecato was made a bit more visually appealing by adding parsley to the mix. Whatever you select here, you will not regret the choice. Not going would be the only wrong choice you could make.

Schiavi Website

Open: 8:30 - 20:30 Monday - Saturday