Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Prosciutto e Melone

Salty and Sweet; like ice and fire. One simply cannot deny a certain inherent sex appeal that oozes from the timeless pairing of these two elementary binary opposites in our sense of taste. Prosciutto e melone - the classic Italian antipasto - is a case in point. The saltiness of dry-cured ham accentuates the sweetness from a perfectly ripe, juicy cantaloupe. It's like taking a dip in a hot spring followed by a plunge into an icy pool. Sexy, simple, and self-explanatory.

(Above) Cured meat galore at a Milanese deli
While a Prada handbag or a Bottega Veneta wallet may top many people's wish list when visiting Milan, peculiar items such as handmade ravioli, buffalo mozzarella and marinated olives somehow creep shamelessly onto my agenda. And with no less passion than those who score a Prada at a bargain, I'd rave about my parmesan cheese. Retail therapy does not discriminate, does it?

I was in Milan recently, it is a requisite to stop by the deli for some freshly shaved prosciutto. After poring over the cured ham and salame galore, I'd say to the deli man - perfecting my Italiano accent - "cento grammi di prosciutto di Parma, per favore". Acknowledging, the man picks up the ham, heads to the slicer and shortly after produces a packet of neatly arranged prosciutto.

Depositing a ripe melon in my grocery bag, grabbing a freshly baked foccacia and a cappucino (so inexpensive in Italy) on my way out (and perhaps a scoop or two of gelato), and I am the happiest boy on earth.

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