The territory: biodiversity and uniqueness, from Venice to the Dolomites

When looking for a place to call home, Ruth and Andrea did not initially realise the key role that the area they eventually chose to live in would play in making this place, which instantly captured their hearts, truly unique.

“This house needed love, it was saying: “take me”. We liked it because it was nestled in the woods.”

Our Rustica is a natural crossroads between the Venetian Lagoon and the Dolomites, surrounded by the vineyards of the Prosecco Hills, woodland, natural oases, medieval residences and ancient mills, and villages that are worth rediscovering.
Due to its diversity, this area has great biodiversity and marked seasonality, which are both a true source of wealth from a landscape perspective, and also when it comes to raw materials.
In all seasons, at all altitudes, land and water offer products of outstanding quality, which allow for menus that tell the story of the area and its history while respecting its characteristics and rhythms: each recipe is the brainchild of Andrea, of his ability to listen to nature, follow its rhythms, and appreciate its abundance.

“The whole area is steeped in rural tradition, with numerous villages that have managed to maintain high farming standards.”

The fact that small artisans, experienced farmers, breeders or fishermen are all within a short distance is a major asset for Our Rustica and a great trade opportunity, which Ruth and Andrea also enjoy sharing with their guests. They are certainly aware of how lucky they are, but they have also put a lot of care and effort into searching for local businesses that are passionate about what they do and have a story to tell.
The artisanal component becomes a key element in selecting suppliers, who become part of a network that Ruth and Andrea like to describe as “family”, sharing values such as respect for the environment and first-rate products whose uniqueness often earns them the I.G.P. (P.G.I. – Protected Geographical Indication) or D.O.P. (P.D.O. – Protected Designation of Origin) labels.
The continuous interplay of territory and cuisine creates a virtuous circle that characterises Our Rustica’s activities: nature offers ingredients, products and flavours, which Chef Andrea selects, combines and processes while respecting and enhancing the area they come from.

“Each town has its own local product, which makes for a very diverse cuisine.”

From oily fish to eels, from the sea to the lagoon, water is a valuable and bountiful resource: biodiversity and seasonality ensure a large variety of fish, which makes it possible to create countless recipes, whether traditional or creative, including traditional Venetian dishes and food preparations that make use of fresh ingredients, leaving plenty of room for improvisation.
From the sea to the mountains, through hills and plains, flavours also vary with the changing seasons: in spring, flowers and vegetables pop up everywhere, such as the well-known asparagus of Badoere and wild herbs including “bruscandoli” (hop shoots), “pissacani” (dandelion), “rosole” (poppy shoots), “s’ciopeti” (bladder campion) and nettles, which are commonly used to make risottos, soups, salads and “frittata” (Italian-style omelette).
While the summer season offers a seemingly endless choice of products, autumn delights the palate with wild mushrooms, chestnuts and “marroni” (round-shaped sweet chestnuts) from Combai, a hamlet tucked away at the foot of the Belluno Prealps, surrounded by chestnut groves.
Besides radicchio from Treviso, the king of traditional winter cuisine, other vegetables grown locally in the colder months of the year include products such as the “broccolo fiolaro” from Creazzo, the broccoli from Bassano, and horseradish root, which is also used to make a delicious horseradish sauce called “cren”, served with boiled meats.
In the mountains, pastures dominate the landscape, while milk, butter and alpine cheeses are the main products served on the table, with their high nutritional value and intense taste.

A passion for nature, tradition, good wine and good food shapes the life in this area and the life of the locals: in fact, there are plenty of countryside festivals showcasing and serving local dishes and products and, in such places, socialising, sharing and hospitality are the norm.
Just like at Ruth’s and Andrea’s place.


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