There’s a new section in the C&K blog (refer `Categories’ on the right) – and it is dedicated to strange and new foods – strange and new for me that is! Crickets, escargots and haggis aside, even foods that are usually quite `normal’ in one culture or region can be considered pretty strange in another. Interesting examples are how cinnamon is never used in sweet dishes in India (the home of cinnamon) while it is very common in European cookery. Have you ever had a beer with ice in it? It’s very common in South Vietnam….and so on.
For me, until I came to live in Italy, fruit was fruit and meat was meat and never did the two come together (very tempted to quote Kipling here but shall desist). Never did the two come together except for a Moroccan style tagine in which prunes or apricots were cooked with meat, or a biryani in which raisins lend a delicious surprise to a mouthful. But even here, the fruit is only a sidekick to the to the star which really is the meat.
In the glorious Italian summer, a delicious and refreshing starter is Melon & Proscuitto – a superb combination of meat and fruit, sweet and salt, mushy and chewy. Paper-thin slices of cured raw ham (crudo as opposed to the cooked ham- cotto) wrapped around juicy wedges of melon. I ate it at a restaurant, at a friend’s home and decided to make it myself. Mamma mia! Bonissimo!
I wish the next level of technology would be something that would allow smell to be captured in a photograph. The freshness of the melon and the freshly picked rosemary and sage made this photo shoot a treat! I enjoyed smelling this dish almost as much as I enjoyed eating it.