Friday Food Porn: The original carpaccio, from Harry’s Bar, Venice

Posted on August 24, 2012 by Aun

Carpaccio from Harry's Bar in Venice

I love carpaccio, the raw beef “salad” that has become one of the must-have dishes on all Italian restaurant menus today. It’s actually hard to believe that the dish is only 62 years old; which makes it a baby compared to most of Italy’s equally famous dishes, most of whose recipes have been passed down from grandmother to daughter to granddaughter for generations. Carpaccio, unlike most of Italy’s most famous dishes, was invented in a restaurant. In one of my favourite restaurants in the world in fact — Harry’s Bar in Venice.

Carpaccio, the dish we know and love today, was invented by Giussepe Cipriani in 1950. One of his regular customers, Countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo, stopped in but informed the restaurateur that her doctor had recently put her on a raw meat diet. Cipriani and his chefs pounded some high-quality beef paper thin and dressed it with a creamy white horseradish sauce. Inspired by the palette of Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio, Cipriani named the dish after him.

Over the years, I have eaten carpaccio in Italian restaurants all over the world. One of the best versions is still the original. If you ever have the chance to visit Venice, I urge you to book a table at Harry’s Bar to try the carpaccio (and a bellini and so many other delicious goodies). The restaurant is by no means cheap, but to me, it’s always been a worthwhile place in which to splurge a little.

You could, of course, also try making your own carpaccio at home — so long as you can get great quality beef to use. The recipe is in the Harry’s Bar Cookbook, which is a fantastic cookbook with recipes that really do work. My own copy is very dog-eared and worn through. It should be. Of the thousand-plus cookbooks my wife and I have collected over the years, this book was the second cookbook I ever purchased for myself and still one of the ones we use the most. In fact, in the post that just follows this one, my wife shares an amazing homemade pasta recipe from this book that we use more often than any other.

Harry’s Bar
Calle Vallaresso 1323
San Marco
30124 Venezia
Italy
Phone: +39 41 528 5777
Fax: +39 41 520 8822
Email: harrysbar@cipriani.com
www.harrysbarvenezia.com

 

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

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