How the word Carpaccio became a food …
|Carpaccio of beef with capers, parmesan|
slithers and rocket
Carpaccio is the international name of a typical Italian dish made with raw beef, served with a sprinkling of olive oil, shaved parmesan, a light, green salad and some lemon …
... it was so named after Vittore Carpaccio a Venetian painter, who studied under Gentile Bellini (brother of the more well-known Giovanni Bellini) in the late 13th to early 14th centuries.
|The vision of St Augustine (1502)|
How do these connections come about? In the 1960s a doctor recommended that one of his patients, a Countess, should eat raw meat to improve her health … Guiseppe Cipriani, the founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, invented and popularised the dish for her.
|The Virgin Reading|
(1505 - 1510)
What to name it? – easy … the dish was named after an exhibition being held in Venice at the time, 1963, dedicated to Vittore Carpaccio.
|Portrait of the Doge|
Leonardo Loredan (1510)
The Venetian painter is known for the characteristic red and white tones of his work … and Cipriani had based the dish on the Piedmont speciality carna cruda all’albese … so carpaccio, usually served as an appetiser, came into the language of cuisine, and continues to feature in many a restaurant.
|A platter of antipasti|
I often choose it when we go out … and do love it for its simplicity and freshness of taste. A dish of very thinly sliced raw meat, fish or vegetables (usually seasoned with lemon, olive oil, freshly ground pepper and shavings of parmesan, or pecorino) served on a bed of rocket, or rucola, with some French bread; or here as an antipasto.
|The well-stocked kitchen by the|
Flemish painter Joachim Beuckelaer
I have also learnt about Vittore Carpaccio, whom I had not heard of before, an artist influenced by the style of Early Netherlandish art and who became recognised as one of the early masters of the Venetian Renaissance.
Language is a wonderful teacher of etymology and of history – I certainly had no idea that one of my choices in a restaurant had been named after a Renaissance artist.
Vittore Carpaccio (1465 - 1525/6) is not very well known today – but his works live on in Venice, and now I have an extra snippet to educate my fellow diners!
The Legend of Saint Ursula – a series of large wall-paintings on canvas, originally created for the Scuola di Sant’Orsola in Venice … they are now in the Gallerie dell’Academia in Venice … a link to the Wikipedia pageon these works.
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