Melon and Prosciutto


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.


2 responses »

  1. Prosciutto e Melone is a classic. It is mainly a starter but during the hot summer days it is often offered as a main dish, just like Caprese salad (mozzarella and tomatoes). As a winter version we sometimes prepare Prosciutto e Ananas – Pineapple (not very Italian) – as you have noticed Italian Cuisine follows what mother nature offers during each season, even if we are starting to get a little of everything throughout the year in our supermarkets.
    Prosciutto e Melone is really good… but did you ever try Prosciutto e Fichi?

    • Oh wow – thanks for all that information! Now I have some new things to try! Yes – I am truly fascinated with how ingrained seasonal eating is in the Italian way of life – the healthiest and most delicious way to live.

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