Let's get one thing straight: raw meat is delicious. That zucchini carpaccio, crunchy as it is, is not carpaccio. That vegan tartare, not tartare. (But those are both really good recipes you should try.) We're talking strictly flesh — our two favorite kinds.
Carpaccio is the Italian term for raw beef filet that's been thoroughly chilled and sliced paper-thin. The slices are arranged on a plate, typically with some shaved Parmesan, capers, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice and a simple arugula salad. The olive oil and lemon juice's acidity cures the meat ever-so-slightly — it's a classic. Sometimes fish is served in the style of carpaccio as well, though you'll usually see it as crudo in Italian cuisine.
Tartare is the general term for meat or fish (or fine, vegetables) that are chopped or minced and mixed with a binding agent (usually mayonnaise and in the case of steak tartare, Dijon mustard) and finely chopped onion or shallot, fresh herbs and other seasonings, then molded and served as an appetizer. Check out our killer steak tartare recipe from Colicchio & Sons for the specifics.
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