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The Goby fish - "Gò" in Venetian slang

Sunday, 03 July 2016
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The gò, or goby is a small fish (20-25 cm) with a dark color, which lives exclusively in the lagoon areas where the bottom is muddy and rich in marine phanerogams. It 'a territorial animal, which digs its den in the mud between the roots of the phanerogams - this is why it is also called the "Weaver of phanerogams"; the den can reach up to a meter deep. In the breeding season the female deposits the eggs on the roots of the phanerogams coming off the roof of the den; the male defends the nest until the eggs hatch.

The goby used to be fished placing the arm in the holes of the den and the fish was caught by hand.

It is considered a fish of little value because it has a lot of bones and requires very long preparation times, this is why the demand is low at the market. But its meat is delicious, and it is the protagonist of one of the oldest traditional Venetian dishes - risotto di gò, a recipe that was invented by Venice fishing communities such as those of the island of Burano.

It is an extraordinary dish, with a delicate taste, very difficult to find even in Venice restaurants because of its long and tedious preparation ... gobies are first cleaned one by one, they are then used to prepare a broth which needs to be filtered carefully to remove all the bones; this broth is used to cook the risotto. The key lies in the broth preparation because it gives the risotto a unique flavour.

At Local we are particularly fond of this dish, and we never take it off the menu; first of all because we like it, then because we are devoted to our culinary tradition, and finally because two of our chefs - Matteo and Wolly - are from the island of Burano, where this recipe was invented.

The "Local" touch in this risotto is that before serving it we add on top a sprinkle of nori seaweed and Katsuobushi - palamito tuna which is smoked, dried and grated, giving a smokey flavour to the risotto.