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|
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.