Enrica Rocca runs fantastic one-day food tours and cooking lessons in Venice. Here she is in the justly legendary Rialto market.


Of course, Venice once ruled the spice world, and accumulated unfathomable wealth due to its trade in (mostly) pepper and nutmeg from India. Sadly, as this rather wan 'tandoori' spice mix which I found in what is today the city's only spice shop attests, Venice these days has absolutely nothing to do with spices.


On a more positive note, the Venetians have never lost their seafood mojo. This tramp's cough of a mess, is actually the delicious constituent parts of a squid (nearest, the ink sac).


And the squid roe (actually not that flavourful, but it has a wonderful texture),


And, together with the fearfully expensive soft shell crabs ('molecche', the Venetians call the; so costly because they don't have a season, and you are lucky to find one in a hundred thus softly carapaced), these are the most sought after Venetian seafood delicacy – canocie, or mantis shrimp.


Enrica shelled them and dressed them with olive oil and a little salt, and that was it. One of the greatest seafood experienced in the world, I'd venture.


In Denmark, they spend ages boiling then peeling their fjord shrimp. From now on, I will do what Enrica does: dry them, dust with flour, deep fry for a few seconds while still alive, a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon, and you are done. 


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