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There is nothing unknown about one specific but very popular dish. On the contrary, everything is surgically precise about Carpaccio.
Who made the first Carpaccio?
The author of the Carpaccio is one of the most famous Venetian caterers, Giuseppe Cipriani.
Where Cipriani made first Carpaccio?
Well, as the legend says, he made it at Harry’s Bar in Venice. He founded and ran the bar with his companion and friend, Harry Pickering. While Giuseppe was in charge of the offer at the bar, Harry was in charge of marketing. He was so successful marketer that the bar became the main gathering place of the mundane world. Among others, Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Truman Capote, and many other stars of the time had their permanent reservation at the place. Although the bar still exists, it’s been a long since it lost all the value and meaning.
Dilapidated furniture, unkind waiters, and prices that are out of the mind drove the visitors away. Now it is visited exclusively by tourists, mainly because of the glory of old times.
What is Carpaccio?
Basic Carpaccio is made exclusively from thinly sliced raw beef fillet or sirloin. It is common to cut beef (frozen or almost frozen) with a meat slicer. This way, you can get extremely thin slices.
But this is not the right approach to this dish. First of all, frozen meat contains a large amount of water that will be subsequently released and slipped onto the surface of the meat.
Secondly, the meat slicer changes the taste of the meat due to friction and heating of its knife. True, the cut of meat you get this way looks very nice to the eye, but still, the taste is what matters, and you won’t get it this way. As you’ve probably learned so far, what looks nice to the eye, might not taste so fine. So, if you want to make Carpaccio using the authentic method, it goes like this: cold meat is cut into thin slices with the sharpest possible knife. After that, you press it using the palm against the table to further thin it.
Short History of Carpaccio
First time Giuseppe Cipriani made the Carpaccio back in 1950 for his regular costumer, Countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo.
The Countess was diagnosed with anemia by a doctor and was recommended to eat raw meat. This diagnosis was the inspiration for one of the most famous appetizers in the world. In the meantime, it has become so popular, both the dish and the name itself, that all kinds of meat served raw, thinly sliced, are called Carpaccio. The only exclusion is poultry. Carpaccio, as well as the tartar steak, is not made only from poultry due to a large number of bacteria. If someone offers it to you, know that she or he is a total gastro ignorant.
Carpaccio was initially served exclusively sprinkled with Harry’s universal sauce. Today, it is served in all possible ways. From various sauces all the way to pure basic Carpaccio: just salt, pepper, lemon, and a bit of planed parmesan. Although it’s completely unacceptable to me, it’s become very popular to serve it with a bunch of rocket or arugula. I don’t know what’s so special about rocket and what it has to do with Carpaccio, but obviously, the rest of the world knows.
Carpaccio – Origin of the name
Carpaccio was named after the Renaissance Italian painter Vittore Carppacio who was a huge lover of red tones. Also, at the same time when Cipriani was making Carpaccio for the first time, in Venice was the opening of Carppacio’s exhibition, so Cipriani was additionally inspired by it. It is interesting to know that something else came from Harry’s bar, too – the cocktail “bellini”, ie prosecco mixed with peach cream.
Bellini waited for fifty years more to become really popular. Today, the cocktail recipe has moved away from originality, and all combinations of sparkling wine with fruit syrup are being called bellini. Bellini is also named after an Italian painter from the early Renaissance, Giovanni Bellini. The name has remained until today.
So now that you’ve learned all about this phenomenal appetizer, which is one of my favorites, it’s time to make it yourself.
As for the sauce to spice it up, I leave it to your imagination. When it comes to me, after a lot of experimenting with the sauce, I decided to consult one of the professional cooks, which is actually a friend of mine.
I consider him one of the three best cooks I know. In fact, all three of them, in my opinion, share the first place. But since he is completely dedicated to the bar and the kitchen where he makes real wonders and he doesn’t want to get exposed, I do not want to name him. The person in question gave me a recipe for the perfect sauce for Carpaccio in the same second: mix honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper, tangerine juice, and lime juice. Use this saucy mix to decorate thinly sliced slices of beef.
Given that the already mentioned mysterious cook is very generous and unreservedly shares his knowledge and skills with others, I’m sure he won’t be angry that I posted his sauce recipe!
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Last update on 2022-02-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API