Prosciutto e Melone
The spring arrives with cantaloupe wrapped in Italian cured raw ham or prosciutto. It seems easy to prepare this recipe but very often also in Italy the wrong prosciutto is used.
Prosciutto was already known in the ancient Rome, and it seems that Hannibal had a banquet with it. Also Casanova later in the 18th century describes a meal with prosciutto close to the city of Parma. I read all his autobiography which is over 1000 pages long. He gives long descriptions about his meals with wines, which is one more thing I am going to write about in the future.
Prosciutto is a natural way to
preserve meat by using salt and
drying it, and it is still
produced that way or let us say
it should. First the pig legs
are cleaned and treated with
salt than hanged in warehouses
with large windows where the
legs hang for months. Depending
on the weather the windows are
opened or closed. The procedure
is mainly the same, but than in
Italy we have a lot of different
kinds of prosciutto with
different tastes. So with which
kind of prosciutto should the
canataloupe paired with? In
preparing food there is a
general rule or to assemble food
by affinity or by contrast. In
this case the similarity of
taste is chosen, and so the
tradition opts for a very sweet
ham, which is the
ham of Parma
that is sure to use only salt as
a preservative, as this is
certified by law. You canít have
the same certitude with other
Recipe for two: one small cantaloupe, a quarter pound Parma ham.
Clean the cantaloupe cut it in slices and wrap the ham around.
Simple and tasty this was the dinner I was having on the balcony of my apartment in Rome when it was hot during the summer.
In Rome I was always having a good glass of prosecco with it, a sparkling white wine from Veneto region Italy.