Friuli Venezia Giulia, the most eastern region of Italy, is greatly influenced by Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.
This region is renowned for its beef, pork and dairy products but a fair amount of fish is also eaten. Stews and casseroles are enjoyed here and are mostly served with polenta which is made slightly wetter here than in other areas. Polenta, made from finely ground maize meal, is considered a traditional dish in Northern Italy.
Viennese sausage, goulash and Bohemian hare are commonplace dishes along with spicy pork which is often prepared over an open hearth.
Sweet dishes are popular here and much use is made of spices and dried fruit. These are added to pasta, rice and polenta and along with sweet soups are part of the first course. They obviously have a sweet tooth here and you can find some of the best cake shops in Italy where local cakes, puddings, fritters, tarts and strudels are sold.
San Daniele del Friuli ham and Montasio cheese are from Friuli-Venezia Giulia.