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Does such a thing as produce carpaccio REALLY exist?

rworange Jul 22, 2010 12:02 PM

This sort of annoys me. Within the last year or so, the term 'carpaccio' has been applied to vegetables and fruit.

Really, should anything raw that is sliced thin and marinated in anything qualify as carpaccio?

From wiki

" ... a dish of raw meat or fish (such as beef, veal, venison, salmon or tuna) generally thinly sliced or pounded thin and served as an appetizer ... Carpaccio was invented at Harry's Bar in Venice, where it was first served to the countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo[1] in 1950 when she informed the bar's owner that her doctor had recommended she eat only raw meat ... The dish was named Carpaccio by Giuseppe Cipriani, the bar's former owner, in reference to the Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio, because the colors of the dish reminded him of paintings by Carpaccio"

Isn't getting a little high-faluting to call thinly sliced raw marinated veggies or fruit in a sauce carpaccio?

I know it isn't that old of a term. And it does look trendy on a menu. However, the first time I saw it on a menu all I could think was "What the hell is this?"

  1. j
    Jme Jul 22, 2010 12:08 PM

    I agree. A restaurant near me has a delicious lunch salad that consists of frisee, seared tuna, and "beet carpaccio." And what's worse, while the beets are indeed sliced thinly, they're cooked! (it's obvious from the texture)

    So this "carpaccio" is not only not meat, but it's not even raw!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jme
      rworange Jul 22, 2010 01:16 PM

      Yeah, I've seen 'beet carpaccio' on menus and that annoys me the most because I like marinated beets a lot, and as you mentioned, they are not being served raw. I don't think you really can eat a raw beet.

      Gussying up the name isn't going to change someone's tastes. Either you like beets or you don't. This might trick someone who doesn't like them into trying it and being disappointed.

      1. re: rworange
        augustiner Jul 22, 2010 05:12 PM

        i too am annoyed when anything other than raw meat is called carpaccio. but in the instance of beets i think we're supposed to find it clever because the color of the beets is supposed to visually suggest raw red meat. it still annoys me but in this case i think its more gimmicky rather than a flagrant misuse of the term. the pineapple one you mention further down? straight wrong.

        1. re: rworange
          Sarah Perry Jul 27, 2010 12:53 PM

          I LOVE raw beets - either cut into beet sticks (like carrot sticks) or grated over plain cooked lentils.

      2. o
        ospreycove Jul 22, 2010 12:11 PM

        In Italian, Carpaccio is defined as you have above. "thinly sliced raw meat seasoned with parmigiano and olive oil.

        I guess anyone can use poetic license and call a dish what they will; no matter how ridiculous it sounds.

        1. LNG212 Jul 22, 2010 12:29 PM

          I have no knowledge to offer. But I wanted to point out that even Chow has it featured in this way ... http://www.chow.com/recipes/10981-zuc... .

          1. a
            akq Jul 22, 2010 01:57 PM

            Isn't there sort of a basic assumption that you can make meatless versions of any meat dish and still use the term of the original dish with a modifier? Like a "portabella steak" or "portabella burger" or "vegetable chili" or "vegetarian BLT" (with "soy bacon"), etc....? Is the beet carpaccio any different?

            Also, since we generally specify the main ingredient in "carpaccio" (e.g. beef carpaccio) it sounds like carpaccio is more a type of preparation than anything else. Otherwise, who gets to say that a "carpaccio" could even be made with any type of meat other than the specific one that was first used?

            As an aside, raw beets edible and are excellent grated in salads!

            1 Reply
            1. re: akq
              rworange Jul 22, 2010 03:42 PM

              I can understand extending it to other meats because, really, who would would order raw deer .. shudder ... or even worse ... goat

              I'm not really sure it should have been extended to fish since there are so many preps for raw fish. It muddies the water on exactly what is being served on the plate.

              This salmon carpaccio recipe is just silly. It is just thinly sliced smoked salmon ... we have to call it carpaccio now?

              Given the classic recipe, I would expect it has olive oil and lemon juice drizzled on it. Does creme fraiche really qualify as the substitute for parmesan cheese? Seriously, what makes this carpaccio?

              However, the main thing about carpaccio is that I would expect whatever is being served to be uncooked. When it gets extended to cooked beets it makes the term meaningless ... and I've seen beet carpacicio at one place ... the beets weren't even thinly sliced ... this recipe for beet carpaccio simply interprets it as something sliced paper-thin

              The same philosophy on this pineapple carpaccio with not a thing on it ... it only means thinly sliced.

              The silliness of the name for carpaccio pizza ... with the thin beef baked with the pizza ... sheesh

              So the term becomes meaningless. At best it is something sliced paper-thin ... ususally ... maybe it is raw. In that case, make carpaccio a cooking term ... carpaccio the beets (ie slice the beets paper-thin)

              Don't even get me started on produce tartare

              Berry “Tartar” with Cream Cheese Mousse and Passion Fruit Coulis Recipe

              At least the 'tartar' was put in quotes.

            2. mbfant Jul 22, 2010 10:38 PM

              If it's any consolation, it was the Italians themselves who first extended the meaning of the term. And yes, it's annoying, not so much because it's extended to thin-sliced raw fish and pineapple but because it's extended to smoked and marinated products as well, to the point where you always have to ask the waiter what it means in each specific case.

              1. r
                runwestierun Jul 22, 2010 11:49 PM

                I am annoyed by this moniker. Vegetarian chili describes a dish where everything is the same in the chili except the meat. "Chili" tells me there will be beans, peppers, tomatoes, cumin, etc. Watermelon carpaccio is just thinly sliced watermelon. It doesn't have anything to do with carpaccio, it's not served with any typical carpaccio accoutrements. If I cut the seedless center out of a whole watermelon, it's not a watermelon tenderloin. Words have to mean something. They can't all mean everything.

                1 Reply
                1. re: runwestierun
                  rworange Jul 23, 2010 12:56 AM

                  Thank you. To me it displays an ignorance of the term by the kitchen.

                  I can be forgiving to a point if all the elements are there ... lemon juice, olive oil, cheese ... AND whatever is sliced paper-thin AND uncooked. At least you have a clue of generally what will be served ... like the vegetarian chili example that you gave.

                  But when you look at some of those recipes, it is like they don't have a clue what carpaccio is ... to some it is something thinly-sliced, to others something raw.

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