Folpettari by passion: Padua's fish tradition


In Padua first come the Scrovegni Chapel and the Basilica of Saint Anthony, then the "folpettari" (“folpo-makers”).
Or rather Max and Barbara Schiavon, folpettari by passion and tradition.
What is a folpo ? It's hard to say.
The people of the Veneto Region will say this is the dialectal way of saying octopus, but the truth is that what is being sold as a "folpo" is nothing other than "moscardini" (small octopus) fished from the sandy sea bottom of the lagoon.
I thus reached the conclusion, in complete autonomy, that a "folpo" is anything equipped with tentacles that the God Neptune's kindness provides.
For approximately 15 years the Schiavon brothers have been continuing a historical craft of Padua's ancient tradition: like a Swiss watch, everyday they arrive punctually at 16.00 in the very central Piazza delle Erbe square and in no time they assemble their "folpetteria" (a store where they sell "folpi"), which is much beloved by Padua's citizens and sought after by tourists.
No matter if it's windy, snowing or hailing, they are always there, with a welcoming smile and kindness that is matched by the perfume that rises from their work counter.
Whether it's for hunger or curiosity, it will be impossible not to stop and browse and then inevitably give in to temptation.
The classic way of enjoying a folpo is cut into chunks when still piping hot and accompanied with a green sauce made with parsley, garlic, olive oil, pepper and lemon.
However not just folpo, folpetti and folpettoni in all sizes, shapes and dimensions.
Max and Barbara also offer other seafood one can enjoy standing behind their wood counter, all rigorously of Veneto's regional tradition.
Sardines in saor, baccalà (salted cod), squid, moeche (molting crabs ) and obviously fried fish.


Thanks to a tacit agreement with the equally historic Bar degli Osei, which neighbours with the folpetteria (porchetta sandwich: try to believe), you will be able to enjoy your street food dish comfortably seated, provided you order un'ombra, which will make Padua's folpetto experience all the more enjoyable.

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