The appetizer section of your local Italian restaurant may have a number of items that you recognize, but there may also be some things that you haven't previously seen. This can especially be true of high-end establishments that offer authentic Italian fare. One appetizer that might catch your eye is crudo. This term describes raw food, and at an Italian restaurant, it typically means raw fish. If you've has sashimi at a Japanese eatery, there are definitely some similarities between it and crudo. Even if you haven't previously eaten raw fish but are a seafood lover, crudo can be a good choice. As you eat this dish, notice these diverse tastes.
Salt is one of the prevalent flavors in many crudo dishes, which can be highly appealing. The chefs at your local Italian eatery will prepare and season your crudo plate carefully so that the taste of salt is present, but not overwhelming. The saltiness can come from a variety of different sources. Sometimes, the light sauce that is either put over the fish or placed on the plate itself will have salty notes. In other cases, ingredients that complement the fish — capers or olives, for example — add this flavor.
You'll also notice some acidity when you dine on a crudo appetizer at an Italian restaurant. The acidity will be gentle, but also be enough to wake up your taste buds — as well as provide a contrasting taste to other flavors within the dish. Many crudo dishes get their acidity from lemon juice, which is a popular choice for complementing the raw fish. It's also common to have delicate amounts of lemon zest sprinkled atop the fish, which provides another source of acidity.
Sweetness is another taste that will be a focal point when you dine on a plate of crudo at a local Italian restaurant. Many people find that there's a gentle sweetness to the raw fish, but you'll find a sweet taste from some of the complementary ingredients, too. Tiny pieces of fruit are common in some crudo recipes. For example, your plate might have a handful of pomegranate seeds scattered around it, which will add a pleasant amount of sweetness. Many chefs use fruit-infused oil in this dish, so you shouldn't be surprised to find sweetness from an olive oil that is infused with black cherry or grapefruit flavor. Take the time to eat your crudo slowly and savor each bite to truly appreciate these flavors.