It wasn't too long ago when the idea of having raw fish for dinner meant solely pieces of sushi, bottles of sake and maneuvering your fingers around a pair of chopsticks. But nowadays, sashimi isn't the only raw deal stealing the spotlight: Nab a table at any upscale restaurant, and you'll see raw fish (and meat) in everything from vibrantly dressed crudos to elegantly plated carpaccios. But what's the difference between these raw preparations?
Crudo—the Italian (and Spanish) word for "raw"—refers to uncooked fish or other seafood, dressed in a vinaigrette, citrus or other seasoning. On the other hand, for something to be considered a carpaccio—Italian for the word "skin"—the fish or meat has to be shaved razor thin. However, carpaccio can also be dressed in a similar manner as crudo. (So essentially while all carpaccio is a type of crudo, not all crudo can be called carpaccio.) Crudo is also most often left to fish preparations, since thicker slices of meat can be unpleasantly tough or overpowering in flavor.
So what about those pieces of high-end yellowfin tuna found at splurge-y omakase joints? Sashimi is its own kettle of fish: It's strictly served unadorned, relying primarily on the quality of the seafood and the masterful hand of an experienced sushi chef for serving.
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