Risotto alla Turca

 

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italian cured ham

 

Italian

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 hams.

 

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.

 

 

 

italian prosciutto Parma
 
  Try also crostini with ham