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Food and Recipes

A Taste of Venice: Zaeti

Venice is famous for art, architecture, gondolas, culture and little biscotti called Zaeti (in Venetian they are called Xaeti). In fact the Zaeti are also known as Zaletti which means yellow (gialletti) in local dialect. The yellow corn flour is what gives these biscuits it's wonderful colour. The flour is more commonly associated with making polenta.

The Zaeti are a must in Venetian cuisine and dates back as far as the year 1700s and was always considered a peasant food because of the colour and type of flour used. The whiter the flour, the more affluent the people were. But the locals of the time wanted to create a little bit of variation from their usual dish of polenta and created this sweet biscuit adding raisins and a twist of lemon peel.

Over the years, the recipe has evolved but more importantly remains one of the specialities in the Venice region.

The Riviera Woman was invited to meet with Chef Gianluca Scalabrin of the Abano Grand Hotel in Abano Terme, who was delighted to share his recipe for Zaeti with us.

These biscuits are typically served at dessert time and accompanied by a sweet wine such as Moscato or more typical Recioto, a sweet fortified red wine made from dried grapes.

The Riviera Woman wishes to thank all the staff at the Abano Grand Hotel and especially Renzo Bacchin, Maitre d'Hotel for their outstanding service and hospitality.


200 g Sugar
300 g Butter
6 Egg Yolks
350 g Corn Flour
350 g Plain Flour "0"
200 g Raisins soaked in Rum
100 g Pine Nuts


Cream together butter and sugar.

Add to the mixture the egg yolks, flour, vanilla, pine nuts and raisons that have been soaked in rum and mix well together.

Divide the mixture into little balls and place on a baking tray.

Bake in a pre-heated oven 170 degrees celsius for 20 minutes.

Zaeti - Abano Grand Hotel

Monday, 1 June 2015    Section: Food and Recipes
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