02 May2007


If you really wanted to “pig-out,” you could serve these fruit and pork appetizers before the pork on pork dish that I posted yesterday… I am still on the “summer fruits are at their peak mode” and I spotted several brilliant looking chicos last week at the markets. pros2They were a bit firm and it took another 2-3 days before they ripened, but they turned out to be incredibly sweet and tasty, despite being picked so early. Ideally, you want to pick the chicos on the day you are going to eat them or perhaps a day before. While the flavor and aroma is best at room temperature, I like to eat my chicos chilled when served as a dessert. At any rate, I had heard from several sources that Margarita Fores, of Cibo fame, was the first to think of pairing chico and prosciutto as an appetizer. It is an inspired creation…the chico is almost sickly sweet and has a grainy texture (some varieties) that in a sense approximates a totally ripe fig, and it offsets and plays up the incredible richness and saltiness of thinly sliced prosciutto… I made several of these appetizers last week and they were REALLY SUPER GOOD. You can only eat a few because they are so rich, but they are special…

And of course, we didn’t stop there. I had some ripe mangoes as well and tried that pairing but I found that despite the interesting piquant/sourish and sweet taste of the mango, pros3it was just too slick and soft and smooth to go as well with the prosciutto. Traditionally, the prosciutto is served with a sweet melon (orange or green) in Italy so it wasn’t outrageous to give this pair a try, but it isn’t something I would go out of my way to eat again…if it’s there, okay. If not, I’ll hunt for a chico first. While prosciutto can be pricey by weight, a little goes a long way. About PHP120 worth easily made 12 appetizer servings so the per piece cost wasn’t as outrageous as you might think…

Under the mantra of nothing ventured, nothing gained, I went even further when I spied an open package of carcar chicharon in the kitchen, and I thought, “hmmm… what pros4if I wrapped prosciutto around the crunchy chicharon?” I know, I know, some of you are mortified, grossed out, rolling your eyes wildly…but frankly, while The Kid and Mrs. MM thought I was totally losing it, it was actually rather edible. I bet I could find a few people that would even like the combination. The crunchy fried pork fat with the soft salty ham… A bit farfetched, and probably not a keeper. But it is interesting to think that you could start a heart-attack meal with pica-pica of chicharon wrapped in prosciutto and follow that with porkloin wrapped in bacon…yikes! :)



  1. Maria Clara says:

    You are my source of idea – I learn something new everyday. Chico and prosciutto when I get a chance will give it a shot – must be incredible duo that balance out the sweetness and saltiness when it hit your palate.

    May 2, 2007 | 6:59 am


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  3. bernadette says:

    my husband would roll up his eyes for sure :-). But I like the ideas that you present here. I do pig out also when I’m with friends and trying out those fatty stuff. I will surely try them…thanks!

    May 2, 2007 | 8:09 am

  4. sonia p, ner says:

    gaita also had chico slices atop pannacotta –great!

    May 2, 2007 | 8:26 am

  5. wysgal says:

    Great summer prosciutto pairings! The chicharon pairing I’m not so sure about though … =)

    May 2, 2007 | 9:23 am

  6. danney league says:

    Hello Marketman,

    When are you gonna do an article about halo halo, embutido, adobo variations and do a poll about the best lechon manok in the Philippines. I heard Andok’s is the best? I’m sure you will be crowded with responses. I miss lechon manok in Barcelona and Lisbon rotisseries.

    May 2, 2007 | 9:46 am

  7. rva says:

    chico would be great!

    anyway, please vote for marketmanila.com in the Blogger’s Choice Awards here: http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/12362

    it was nominated for Best Food Blog and Best Hobby Blog categories.

    May 2, 2007 | 10:51 am

  8. flip4ever says:

    Well, since you’re on this pork-on-pork theme, maybe one of your posts could be a conceptual full day of feasting with the main dishes for each meal (breakfast; mid-morning snack; lunch; mid-afternoon snack; merienda cena or pinoy happy-hour with pulutan of course; and dinner) consisting of pork-on-pork items (whether different cuts of pork or different pork products in one dish). Imagine you have houseguests who have arrived after a long stay in the Middle East, and have not had pork in quite a while and have requested this themed series of meals. I’d be interested on what you come up with. :)

    May 2, 2007 | 11:42 am

  9. jules winnfield says:

    “I bet I could find a few people that would even like the (chicharon/prosciutto) combination.”

    look no further, the man to try this combo is right here! i have gone as far as crumbed chicharon replacing bacon bits in salads. fusing-in chicharon with most dishes really isn’t fear factor food if you think about it. it’s got its own unique texture and flavor, crumbed or otherwise.

    May 2, 2007 | 12:42 pm

  10. joey says:

    “I bet I could find a few people that would even like the (chicharon/prosciutto) combination.” –> Oh yeah!!! I don’t think it’s strange at all…I would love to try it :) I have a batch of chicharon a good friend got from Pampanga hooray! :)

    I also love the chico/prosciutto combi. Chico is one of my favorite fruits :)

    May 2, 2007 | 2:27 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Hi Danney, I already have articles on adobo, halo-halo and lechon manok in my archives… there are nearly 1,100 posts so its worthwhile to surf through them for older posts… rva, thanks for that heads up…had never heard of those awards until your link…will have to do a separate post on it. flip4ever, a totally pork day…yikes, interesting but deadly! jules and joey, I knew I could find kindred spirits on the chicaron and prosciutto!

    May 2, 2007 | 8:28 pm

  12. noemi says:

    chico, namimiss ko rin yan.

    May 2, 2007 | 10:12 pm

  13. Katrina says:

    MM, thanks for reminding me about chico — I haven’t had it in a long time, and now that it’s in season, I should. I want to try something I heard they have in Vietnam, which is chico shake!

    May 2, 2007 | 10:24 pm

  14. Mila says:

    Love chicos, the smaller, the sweeter, the grainier. I remember buying them once in Thailand, thrilled to find them, and planning to serve them, only to have my guests ask me “What are you going to do with those potatoes?” Philistines!

    Katrina, that chico shake sounds great, with some calamansi perhaps.

    May 2, 2007 | 10:40 pm

  15. Jdawgg says:

    How about prosciutto and cantaloupe?

    May 3, 2007 | 1:51 am

  16. Marketman says:

    Jdawgg, cantaloupe and honeydew melons are the “original” pairing of salty prosciutto and a sweet fruit… I find our melons here are often left wanting so trying it with other commonly available seasonal fruits seemed like a good idea… Mila and Katrina, I have never tried a chico shake before last week… I added a whole chico to low fat milk and some whey powder and it tasted pretty good…

    May 3, 2007 | 2:46 am

  17. dhayL says:

    hello MM,
    chico, sineguelas, santol, duhat, atis, hhmm what else? those are just a few fruits that i dearly miss back home..and like u i like my chico, sineguelas and duhat chilled before i eat them, it’s refreshing!

    one more thing, i know this is slightly off topic, but do you know or maybe one of your readers know what colour corresponds for 30th wedding anniv? anyone, pls, let me know…thanks :)

    May 3, 2007 | 6:14 am

  18. Marketman says:

    dhayL, sorry, I didn’t even know there were colors associated with wedding anniversaries…

    May 3, 2007 | 10:13 am

  19. wil-b cariaga says:

    haha yeah, you never even had the pork main course you will already have a heart attack. . . the chico and prosciutto sounds interesting, i’ll try it sometime. . .

    May 3, 2007 | 10:56 am

  20. mila says:

    dhayL, 30th wedding anniversaries are linked to pearls. You could do any color but have a pearly sheen added to the decor of the celebration. Or go crazy in Quiapo and buy tons of inexpensive pearls for the decor!!!

    May 3, 2007 | 11:30 am

  21. flip4ever says:

    dhayl, just google – wedding anniversary colors…i think the first link gives you a chart that shows green is for the 30th wedding anniversary.

    May 3, 2007 | 12:06 pm

  22. lojet says:

    The first time I saw Kiwi I thought it was chico until I opened it.

    I saw once in an ethnic grocery store a fruit called Sapodilla. I thought it was chico but it was so big I wasn’t sure but once I tasted it , yep chico and it was very sweet. I have kept looking but never saw it again.

    May 3, 2007 | 3:41 pm

  23. jdawgg says:

    Allright Marketman,

    How about prosciutto and slice ripe pineapple or even fully ripe cashew or kasuy fruit? Hmmm, sound like a good snack for the summer.

    May 4, 2007 | 11:20 pm

  24. dhayL says:

    oh thank you so much i really appreciate! i looked it up online, and yeah somehow 30th wedding anniv are associated with “pearls”.
    too bad i’m on the other side if the globe, it would’ve been so much easier and fun to shop for all the things we need in Divisoria or Baklaran! :)
    thanks again!

    May 7, 2007 | 3:27 am

  25. Margarita Fores says:

    Hello Marketman, this is a bit late but had to reply ….missed meeting you in person again at the “school board” dinner but had a pleasant time with your better half and her camera as she tried to record parts of the evening’s dinner for you. Thank you for your blurb about the prosciutto and chico combination. I did get taken by how the chico’s gritty quality can match that of the fig. I used to think a super ripe fig from Italy was the best fruit in the world, but after pairing a super duper ripe chico with prosciutto, I changed my mind. Pepato’s opening menu in 2003 had prosciutto paired with scoops of our chico sherbet….something quite perfect to combat our Manila heat. I still think its one of our best starters and haven’t removed it from there. Hope to finally see you in person soon!!!!

    Aug 7, 2007 | 1:57 am

  26. Margarita Fores says:

    Katrina, Cafe Bola has chico shakes if you don’t want to go to Vietnam…

    Aug 7, 2007 | 2:00 am


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