Culinary Crudo Cupidity Catastrophe Creeps Commonwealth-wise

Those of us who for one reason or another move from a more sophisticated—generally urban—location to one more rural or suburban may be left with longings for specific culinary tastes developed there. At the same time, there may occur rear-mirror views that suggest we should count the blessings of the new, if less challenging, culinary opportunities. Then again, not every prior culinary experience or opportunity is one of longing for the past. The tale of fluke crudo in New York City is one that appears to instruct that Virginia will not adopt.

We may fail to heed the warnings of impending danger and run the risk of succumbing to subtle perils that can profoundly alter our life experiences. This is true in virtually every aspect of our culture, including culinary exposure. We are fortunate that the internet affords us early warnings of hostile or unfriendly activity in locations already under the spell of a culinary scourge. Grub Street, New York magazine’s food blog, is one such harbinger of cutting-edge culinary pandemics that threaten to invade other parts of the nation.

Recently, the blog [] offered a dire digression in extraordinarily strong language about a seafood dish and its evolution over an 18-year period [“Fluke Crudo Is a Scourge That Must Be Stopped”]. VoxFairfax was persuaded by the power of the article to alert its readers to prepare for the inevitable slog of fluke crudo as it makes its way down I-95 to local bistros and restaurants. Naturally, the dish has already been made the centerpiece of at least one DC restaurant, where servings can be had at prices from $45 to$135. There is no evidence to demonstrate that crudo, fluke or otherwise, has entered Virginia’s menus.

For the incognoscenti, crudo is an Italian term for “raw.” As a measure of the significance of this phenomenon, a few excerpts from the blog’s discourse on fluke crudo are presented:


*At some point, fluke crudo had taken over every NYC restaurant, beginning in 2000;

*As time passed, however, the predominance of the dish became “mind-numbingly boring,”causing anger;

*One food critic observed that, in his rounds, night after night, it “will make you insane”; and

*Fluke crudo morphed onto so many restaurant menus that it is “never memorable” and rarely, if ever, prepared and presented with a flourish.

And if a picture is worth 1,000 words:

These piercing critiques contrast vividly and palatably with some in the early days of its introduction as the “most exciting thing to happen,” a “divine creation” where morsels “all but quiver on the tongue.” Notwithstanding such an auspicious entrance onto the culinary landscape, fluke crudo has now eroded the palates of far too many food critics. This transformation hearkens back to the fondue craze of decades ago, which nearly caused the complete eradication of the American family home dining experience.   

A scourge is defined as a “dreadful affliction,” one which requires persistent vigilance to avert or prepare for. You have been warned.

Categories: Issues, Local, National

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