How many stories can stay behind a dish?
Many, sometimes. Take Carpaccio, for instance.
Thin slices of raw meat or fish, served with a sauce (which can be made prevalently of oil or lemon juice), right?
The dish was named after a 15th-century Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio, who used a characteristic tone of red in his artworks. And the colour of the fresh raw meat served so thinly sliced reminded the chef of that shade.
Who was the chef? Well, it was Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of the Harry’s Bar, who also invented the cocktail Bellini (2 parts of Prosecco, 1 part of peach purée).
Where this name comes from? Well, from yet another 15th-century Venetian artist, Giovanni Bellini, who used to paint the togas of the Saints and Holy Mary’s tunic with a shade of pink very similar to the cocktail’s colour.
Harry’s Bar, we said, right? That’s where Ernest Hemingway used to go every day during his long stays in Venice (“Papa” had his own table on a corner reserved for him).
He even dedicated to the bar a whole page of his novel Across the River and into the Trees.
So, think about all this next time you’ll have carpaccio.
Or don’t… and just enjoy it!