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Sardines in Saor

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Sardines in Saor, also called il Soar, is a traditional Venetian dish. It is a must try when you are in Venice. The dish is made from fried sardines and onions, with pine nuts and plenty of vinegar. This classic Venetian food can be found in restaurants.


Sardines are first dredged in the flour seasoned with salt and freshly grounded pepper until entirely coated, after which are fried for about 2 minutes on both sides, until the sardines are crisp and golden-brown. Afterwards chopped onion is fried and the sauce is prepared by adding the white wine vinegar, white wine and caster sugar which are simmered for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved; then crushed cloves, bay leaves, saffron strands and saffron water, sultanas and pine nuts are also added and stirred well to combine. Finally a layer of the sardines and a layer of the fried onion is placed in a bowl, until all the sardines and onion has been used, then the remaining stock is poured over the top. The bowl is covered and placed in the fridge overnight to marinate for a few days for a better result. This dish is usually served cold along with a portion of salad.

This sardine version is typical of Venetian cuisine, but the Sardinians and Sicilians have the same dish influenced by the Moors. The recipe contains a tough of chilli and also golden raisins which become tasty overnight.

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Venetian cuisine,

Sarde in saor (Venetian-style sweet and sour sardines),

Sarde in Saor (Venetian Style Sardines),