Astute eaters know nearly every coastal culture has their own way of serving raw fish. Japan has both sushi and sashimi, Latin America has ceviche and the French fawn over tartare. When it comes to Italy, however, the dish of choice is crudo. The word's literal Italian translation is "raw," and in the boot-shaped country surrounded by water, there's plenty of raw seafood to go around.
The preparation of crudo is somewhat similar to sashimi. However, while sashimi presents thicker slices of ultra-fresh fish alongside wasabi and soy, crudo is thinner and often allows for more variety in its accompaniments. In the basic recipe, thinly sliced fish is paired with citrus, dressed in salt and light garnishes, and drizzled with high-quality olive oil right before serving. The fish in crudo is just as fresh as sashimi, but the added ingredients provide an entirely different culinary experience.
Washingtonians will certainly recognize crudo, as it's been popping up in raw bars like Whaley's and Conosci — the latter is almost entirely focused on the dish. Other classic Italian restaurants, like Fiola, also usually keep crudo options on their menus. Here's a map of some of the newest crudo dishes around town.Read More