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Cicchetti (also sometimes spelled "cichetti" or called "cicheti" in Venetian language) are small snacks or side dishes, typically served in traditional "bàcari" (cicchetti bars or osterie) in Venice, Italy. Common cicchetti include tiny sandwiches, plates of olives or other vegetables, halved hard boiled eggs, small servings of a combination of one or more of seafood, meat and vegetable ingredients laid on top of a slice of bread or polenta, and very small servings of typical full-course plates. Like Spanish tapas, one can also make a meal of cicchetti by ordering multiple plates. Normally not a part of home cooking, the cicchetti’s importance lies not just in the food itself, but also in how, when and where they are eaten: with fingers and toothpicks, usually standing up, hanging around the counter where they are displayed in numerous bars, osterie and bacari that offer them virtually all day long. Venice's many cicchetti bars are quite active during the day, as Venetians (and tourists) typically eat cicchetti in the late morning, for lunch, or as afternoon snacks. Cicchetti are usually accompanied by a small glass of local white wine, which the locals refer to as an "ombra" (shadow).
Cicchetti is the plural form. A single piece of cicchetti is a cicchetto.
Cicchetti in the United States
In the United States of America, cicchetti are popular in some Italian-American enclaves, where it is sometimes spelled "chiccetti."
- "A day in Venice hunting for cicchetti (in Italian)". Retrieved August 20, 2010.[dead link]