Local Specialities: Salami and Cheese that You Must Try in Venice

by Giulia Minero
Typical tagliere of salami and cheese

A visit to Venice is never complete without a tasting experience of the local specialities! The city of Venice, and more widely the whole region of Veneto can pride themselves of a variety of local products with 6 among salami and cheese definitely worth trying. In case you have already left Venice without savouring them, here's a good reason to plan a comeback!

Italian labels of local products
Italian labels of local products

The European Union assigned to 292 Italian food products and 523 wines its official ‘local speciality’ labels – generally associated with the distinctive labels of Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG), Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). In Italian, these labels are called IGP or DOC.

In Italy, and in Venice as well, salami and cheese are served as appetizers or used to accompany an inebriating glass of wine – red wine is advised – at aperitivo time. Ask for a tagliere (listen how to pronounce it on https://it.howtopronounce.com/italian/tagliere/), literally a wood cutting board filles with sliced salami, cold cuts and cheese, to enjoy the best of local products all-in-one. In case you are not a lover of cicheti (small local appetizers), a tagliere is a great alternative for a tasty break.

Asiago Cheese

Asiago cheese

Asiago is one of the most well known cheese types of all Italy and is produced on the heights of the city of Asiago, roughly 120 km from Venice, from fresh cow milk. Be it fresh or aged, Asiago is a versatile ingredient which can be savoured accompanied by honey or jam or used to prepare dishes rich in flavour.

Grana Padano Cheese

The opening of a Grana Padano wheel
The opening of a Grana Padano wheel, photo credits @Tamorlan under c.c. 3.0 licence

Also known simply as Grana, it can have different ageing levels: the older it gets, the crumbly and tasty it gets. There is no methos of choosing the best Grana cheese, as a lot depends on each one’s tastes. Though, just one tip might be taken into account: wheels which have undergone long ageing times are likely to be more expensive. Try it cut into pieces or shaved over pasta or risotto recipes to enjoy a triumph of aromas.

Montasio Cheese

Traditional Montasio cheese
Traditional Montasio cheese

The production of Montasio is not only connected to the region of Veneto but also to the nearby Friuli Venezia Giulia. This cheese with a mid-hard texture is produced with boiled fresh milk and features four different ageing levels, allowing Montasio develop different and more intense flavours. Though it is perfect to be cooked in tasty main courses, this kind of cheese is one of the real protagonists of a traditional tagliere.

Monte Veronese DOP Cheese

Monte Veronese cheese
Monte Veronese cheese

As the name might suggest – monte is the Italian name for Mount – this particular kind of cheese originates on the heights of a mountain, Monti Lessini from summer pastures. Thanks to the specific type of milk used and dedicated ageing methods Monte Veronese is protected by the Italian regulation.  It is perfect to be eaten sliced, chopped in cubes all alone or with a fresh out-of-the-oven piece of bread.

Coppa Veneta

Coppa Veneta
Coppa Veneta, photo credits @ Dietrich Ayala under c.c. 2.0 licence

Boasting the distinctive dark red look and white veining, coppa is a traditional cold cut made with a well balanced mix of pork meat, salt and herbs, merged all together to allow the utmost of taste. After have undergone a ageing process from two to four months, the traditional Coppa Veneta is ready to eat, best if cut into tiny slices and accompanied by fresh bread.

Soppressa Vicentina DOP

Traditional Soppressa
Traditional Soppressa

Although it looks like a salame, soppressa couldn’t be more different from it. Its preparation si connected to centuries-old traditions which involve the start of the mixing of its ingredients – mainly pork – during the colder months of the year, in order to help the preservation of meat. Those who wish to feel like a local can enjoy some slices of soppressa with corn-made polenta and porcini mushrooms and paired with red wine, or even savour it all alone cut into mid-thin slices.

Find some of Venice’s best restaurants serving local dishes!

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