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May 2, 2011 11:58 AM

How to eat carpaccio

So I ordered a plate of beef carpaccio. It came with a sprinkling of capers, some arugula and half a lemon. The waiter asked if I wanted olive oil and seemed surprised when I declined. (Seemed messy; I was fond of the shirt I was wearing.) He also brought a basket of bread. Was there any particular way I should have eaten this? Other than just...eating it?

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    I like a little drizzle of olive oil.

    1. First time I ordered it the waiter instructed to squeeze lemon over the beef to "cook" it. Tried it on a small piece then dug into the the rest sans lemon. Not sure if it's correct to add the lemon, but seems to defeat the purpose of experiencing exceptional beef. I'd think the olive oil would be a personal choice as well. Maybe more of a dressing for the greens? I'm also sick of seeing arugula pop up on every form of beef.

      Whatever with "it's peppery." So is pepper.

      1. Carpaccio should be eaten wit the best olive oil you can find and with a small (few drop) amount of lemon; but the meat should not be "cooked" by the lemon; only flavored.

        Other than that, just enjoy it.


        1. The olive oil brings out some very unusual flavors in the meat with the saltiness of the capers and the bitterness of the arugula.

          1. Okay, next time I'll get the olive oil. What about putting it all on a piece of bread, as I saw someone do at another table?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Glencora

              IMO, carpaccio et al is a knife and fork dish. I suppose you could tear off a small piece of bread, "compose" your meat, greens etc. on your fork and then "spear" the piece of bread and eat. Seems easier to alternate bites somehow :)

              1. re: Glencora

                I enjoy it on thinly sliced bread, sometimes very lightly toasted (crostini) with a little olive oil and maybe a shaving of parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano cheese and a few capers.