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Critic's Choice: Carpaccio as a blank canvas
According to my "Grande Enciclopedia Illustrata della Gastronomia," carpaccio is the "celebrated preparation based on raw beef sliced as finely as prosciutto di Parma and variously garnished," and was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani at Harry's Bar in Venice. A regular there, Contessa Amalia Nani Mocenigo (of Venice), was given a strict diet by her doctor. One of the few things she could eat was carne cruda — raw beef. To make her diet less monotonous, Cipriani presented her one day with a dish of finely sliced raw beef scribbled over with a mayonnaise spiked with mustard and a dash of Worcestershire. He named it "carpaccio" after the painter Vittore Carpaccio, whose paintings were showing in Venice at the time. Cipriani was particularly taken with his use of red.
By S. Irene Virbila
February 16, 2013