Carlos and the Mushrooms Carpaccio

 

For all those who ever heard about the word Carpaccio, I found a really interesting definition.

Carpaccio is a dish of raw meat (mostly beef, veal or venison) or fish (salmon or tuna), thinly sliced or pounded thin and served mainly as an appetizer. The dish was served for the first time in Harry’s Bar in Venice and became popular during the second half of the Twentieth Century. The dish was invented in 1950 by Giuseppe Cipriani.

The ideal preparation of an authentic Carpaccio should be: beef served with lemon, olive oil, and white truffle or Parmesan cheese.

Years later, the term Carpaccio was extended to dishes containing other raw meats or fish, thinly sliced and served with lemon or vinegar, olive oil, salt, ground pepper and arugula on the top.

Honestly I would be really careful in preparing such a particular dish. The day I wanted to impress my companion, it didn’t happen. I saved myself in corner. I prepared for her a salmon carpaccio and a beef carpaccio. The salmon was fine but the beef was a “Big Disaster”.

The main rule is?

When using beef for the Carpaccio, always go with a sirloin.

For all who are reading my articles. Thank you! I would like to remind you about my summer time work experience as a young adult.

The day I met Carlos, my nickname became Delinquente. His Good morning was:

Buenos dias Delinquente!

Carlos is one of those Cuban guys that can take your mind through their narrations and bring you to amazing places and live their life episodes. It was thanks to him I learned my first steps of bachata (a type of dance) and the most nasty Spanish words. He needed only a photo of his amazing home country and some words, in order to transport me there and live vicariously through his amazing life.

I just realized I repeated the same thing in two different sentences.

Sorry!

“Buongiorno delinquente!”

“Hola Carlos!”

 

We were talking in two languages. I was correcting his Italian and he was correcting my Spanish. After 3 months, my Spanish improved a lot by talking with this Cuban Pizza man.

Not cool?

That morning he was preparing the pizza for lunch. He was (and hopefully continues to be) a super pizza man. He was able to make 150 pizzas during the dinner time.

Something you probably don’t know: In Italy, restaurants will never open their doors earlier than 7 PM. Well, wait, they might open but…the treatment will not be the best. Whoever goes into a restaurant before 7 PM will always be marked as a bad client by all the kitchen staff. ‘no stronzo

 

Always good to know for when you will go to Italy on vacation…

He was preparing the pizza. On his kitchen counter he had a glass of white wine with the remaining bottle. His face was already red and he was singing his favorite song:

Corazon Espinado

I was preparing the tables for the lunch when he says:

“Vieni qui Delinquente!”

“Te volio ensegnar alcosa”.

I looked at him like a teacher at school…

“Se dice: Ti voglio insegnare qualcosa.”

 

He rolled his eyes…

He started to chop 4 champignon mushrooms very thinly. Then he put them on a plain plate. He dropped some salt and pepper with a squeeze of lemon on the top. After, he took some arugula from his stainless steel container and covered the mushrooms. Some olive oil drizzled over the top, and he put it in the fridge.

“Alex, esto es el Carpaccio de funghi! Tadaaa!”

30 minutes later, I tasted it and he needed to use the body force to stop me eating it all. It was super delicious…

Every single time I prepare the Mushrooms Carpaccio, I have in mind a boat with a tanned, cool Cuban guy on it and hundreds of lobsters. When I eat that dish I hear Corazon Espinado singing in my ears and I can imagine Cuba’s people.

One day I will visit Cuba, my cool Spanish and culinary teacher. Thank you for making my days easier!

Your Delinquente

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