15 Apr2009

prosciutto2

The whole prosciutto had been resting in our fridge for about 3 or 4 days after its harrowing passage in the cold dark cargo hold of a wide-bodied jet from Europe… We were waiting for the right time to break open the vacuum seal to start enjoying it but there had to be a good reason… or at least we convinced ourselves we needed a good reason. A visit to the markets two Saturdays ago and a brief discussion with my suki melon vendor resulted in the needed catalyst. He claimed his melons that day were unbelievably sweet, and incredibly juicy to boot, or at the peak of the season. I often take these claims with a grain of salt, particularly since finding a truly good melon, cantaloupe or honey dew in Manila is extremely difficult… but I took a chance and purchased two green honey dews and two orange cantaloupes…

prsociutto1

A couple of days later at the beach, we sliced into a well-chilled honey dew and I can tell you it was one of the best I have ever had locally. Superb and worth every centavo of the whopping PHP90-100 price I paid for it. We sliced into the cantaloupe and it was nearly as good so we opened up the prosciutto and put together this simple platter as a starter for dinner that evening. YUM. There are few pairings as classic and as delicious as prosciutto with melon. The saltiness of the prosciutto enhances the sweetness of the melon. And oddly, if the melons are just right and the prosciutto of decent provenance, there is a sweet undertone to the salted meat that emerges when you put both in your mouth and everything blends together. Simply perfect.

prosciutto3

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Eina says:

    This post almost makes me forget that I hate melons. :p

    Apr 15, 2009 | 5:44 am

     
  2. Vanessa says:

    Match made in Italian heaven!

    Apr 15, 2009 | 5:45 am

     
  3. brownedgnat says:

    Pair with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Heaven!

    Apr 15, 2009 | 5:54 am

     
  4. flip4ever says:

    Are you going to try the prosciutto with chicos too ?

    Apr 15, 2009 | 6:47 am

     
  5. bearhug0127 says:

    Aside from the melons, what would be a great pair for the prosciutto? You take really wickedly good photos, MM.

    Apr 15, 2009 | 6:51 am

     
  6. natie says:

    oh, my…the perfect pair!

    Apr 15, 2009 | 7:19 am

     
  7. catahoulamom says:

    to: bearhug0127

    Try prosciutto with Persimmon which I think gets

    to the Philippines in abundance.They grow them huge in Italy.

    Chico? need to try that,there’s none to be had where I am

    except the central american variety which I don’t find nearly

    enough as sweet as Pineras.

    Apr 15, 2009 | 7:20 am

     
  8. sanojmd says:

    It looks so good.. im starting to salivate with this pair.. YUM! YUM!

    Apr 15, 2009 | 7:29 am

     
  9. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Arrrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!! I am greener than the green honey dews with envy!!

    Apr 15, 2009 | 7:31 am

     
  10. catahoulamom says:

    Another thought. If you ever get Ya or Yali pear(Fragrant Pear) or the even better Korla(kurle,koerle,oumlaut)
    known to Malaysians as hiong lei, try it with prosciutto.
    Those pears have been proven to have dna of both the European
    pears and Asian pears so they have the sweetness of Asian pears against the firmness,crunchiness and not-so waterlogged juiciness of Euro pears plus the fragrance to complement Prosciutto.

    Apr 15, 2009 | 7:43 am

     
  11. Tricia says:

    molto bene!

    Apr 15, 2009 | 7:49 am

     
  12. catahoulamom says:

    So now I get to dream of finding the perfect Prosciutto.
    What I get around me are too salty and although they look
    pink and inviting under a vacuum pack, they lack the
    authenticity of Italian Prosciutto which are perfectly salted but allows you to taste the sweetness of the meat and the aroma of the sweet breezes of the area it was cured in.

    “You must have done something good” as they say.
    They won’t allow shipments of meat where I am. Boo-hooooo

    Apr 15, 2009 | 8:18 am

     
  13. Noel says:

    Local honeydew melons are not consistent in quality, while cantaloupe melons are available only during dry season. You could also try hami melons, available all year round, more consistent sweetness, although more expensive than honeydew.

    Apr 15, 2009 | 8:21 am

     
  14. fried-neurons says:

    Yum. Prosciutto with honeydew, or with Anjou pears… just two of those things where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    Ok, off to AG Ferrari I go. I can’t contain my envy any longer. lol

    Apr 15, 2009 | 8:45 am

     
  15. Mila says:

    That is a perfect summer meal MM, and a glass of sauv or a chilled prosecco, you can watch a glorious sunset at the beach, feel like the king of the world.
    Looking forward to how you used up the fat! Carbonara? or crisped up and topped onto monggo?

    Apr 15, 2009 | 10:00 am

     
  16. zena says:

    D…r…o…o..l! Pardon the dripping saliva. We have a chico at home but I’m still wary of trying it with prosciutto which I could buy at Galileo (100 meters away).

    Apr 15, 2009 | 10:16 am

     
  17. bearhug0127 says:

    TO: catahoulamom: Thanks, here on Guam we get a steady supply of persimmons coming from Korea. Will try it later.

    Apr 15, 2009 | 11:07 am

     
  18. bagito says:

    Mmm, first picture pa lang, I salivated na. Yum!

    Apr 15, 2009 | 11:19 am

     
  19. Bertie B says:

    Well done finding a ripe melon in the Philippines!

    I have virtually given up finding here what is one of my favorite fruits that is worth eating.

    I used to live in the south of France not far from Cavaillon ( http://www.melondecavaillon.com/ )which produces maybe the best melons in the world. To walk round an open market there in season is to bombarded by the aroma of melon. Nothing to match it

    Apr 15, 2009 | 11:38 am

     
  20. Guia says:

    We get our prosciutto locally in Iowa, by La Quercia.
    It is considered the best American made prosciutto. Accdg. to chefs/critics, it is just as good as that coming from Italy. Herb and Kathy Eckhouse are artisanals who have devote all their time and energies in their passion (career shift, just started in 2005). The pork used is organic, free ranged, vegs. & grain fed; they even have an acorn edition, purely fed on acorns. It is highly rated – great chefs selected as finalists for the 2008 James Beard Awards use La Quercia meats; food critics have raved about it. We like the Prosciutto Piccante with the spicy flavor. Check their web site: http://www.laquercia.us/

    We will be going home this Pasko. I can bring them to whoever is interested, will appropriate some luggage space for it for MM foodies. Details to follow if there is interest in this.

    Apr 15, 2009 | 12:07 pm

     
  21. T19 says:

    I absolutely love this dish!

    Apr 15, 2009 | 12:48 pm

     
  22. Angela says:

    It’s 11:16 pm and I am craving prosciutto and melons. Arrrggghhhh!! This is what I get when I check this blog before going to bed!

    If the prosciutto made by La Quercia is made from Berkshire pigs and has been very favorably rated, I wonder how much yummier it would be if it were made from Mangalitsa pigs? Mmmmm. . .

    Here’s some info on Mangalitsa pigs:
    http://woolypigs.com/_introduction.html

    Apr 15, 2009 | 2:24 pm

     
  23. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Marketman…these are the perfect combi…try Hami melon…so good too. Wonderful!!

    Apr 15, 2009 | 6:38 pm

     
  24. Connie C says:

    Oh dear piggies, whose only reason for being is doomed for the stove top, the roasting pit or the smoke house!
    But then, who will eat the kitchen scraps?

    Apr 15, 2009 | 7:41 pm

     
  25. evel says:

    miss guia, am interested to order prosciutto…how much would it cost?

    Apr 15, 2009 | 8:54 pm

     
  26. Joey Pacheco says:

    what a coincidence- my friends and i just had this combo for snacks this afternoon…. oo nga- perfect pair nga… :-)

    Apr 15, 2009 | 10:55 pm

     
  27. Booey says:

    HI MM! Where did you get your honeydews and cantaloupes? So hard to buy sweet and juicy ones here… It’s a hit or miss thing, usually a miss though…

    Apr 16, 2009 | 10:58 am

     
  28. betty q. says:

    Stay away from cantaloupes with the stem still attached to it. Unlike watermelons that you can tell if it’s ready by looking at the underside (the one that rests on the ground…should be YELLOW and not creamy white), ripe cantaloupes should SLIP off the vine easily….ripeness index. But of course, some growers minamadali nila for the market and cannot wait for the melon to slip off the vine.

    Apr 16, 2009 | 12:27 pm

     
  29. portugalbear says:

    thanks Betty Q. I always look forward to your comments. Will try this combination. looks really really yummy

    Apr 16, 2009 | 4:50 pm

     
  30. kurzhaar says:

    Prosciutto (or similar hams) with melon are classic, but in the past few years I’ve just as often paired prosciutto with papaya. Terrific combination!

    Apr 17, 2009 | 7:06 am

     
  31. Marketman says:

    kurzhaar, that’s novel, I should try prosciutto with papaya as we have abundant supplies of papaya here. Booey, I got them at the FTI Saturday market.

    Apr 18, 2009 | 11:44 am

     
  32. kurzhaar says:

    Good papayas are not always easy to find where I live in the US (unlike in, say, Hawaii). I’m sure you have excellent papayas. If I find a good one that’s fully ripe but not over-ripe (i.e., firm)…then I’m off to have some prosciutto cut at my local deli which imports some excellent prosciutto from Italy. At this point in time at least I actually prefer this combination to that with melon. I am friends with some Italians who when first served this were first skeptical, then stunned…and then complained that they couldn’t get good papayas where they lived. (The grass is always greener, isn’t it!) ;)

    Apr 19, 2009 | 8:14 am

     
  33. betty q. says:

    Kurzhaar…Maybe I just am a very approachable namamalengke…no, not the word I am looking for! But everywhere I go, I seem to get the “loob” of the owners, so that I get the cream of the crop as they say when their produce come in. If it isn’t good, they say so and always tell me to wait for the good ones! I even get phonecalls to tell me thay their nice fruits have arrived….be it PAPAYAS

    Apr 19, 2009 | 11:55 am

     
  34. jade186 says:

    Another prosciutto and fruit combination that I would suggest is with FIGS. I have tried this when I was visiting an Italian friend who was living in the island of San Erasmo in Venice. He had fig trees all over the place and were they so sweet and succulent, very different from those coming from Turkey.

    Another bit of info, the kamote (or sweet potatoes), is being cultivated nowadays in this little island (and towards the mainland) and is slowly changing the some of the agricultural panorama of this region. It is getting to be quite a prime and sought-after commodity, so I wish Filipinos would reconsider the thought that kamote is a lowly crop.

    And thanks betty q. for the info about cantaloupes!
    :)

    Apr 20, 2009 | 12:20 am

     
  35. JCo says:

    hi MM. this is a perfect starter dish for an upcoming BBQ with friends. do you know where i can get reliable, good quality prosciutto in manila? sadly, i’ve tried some disappointing ones from some delis. btw, am also considering the teen’s zuccini dish to side with our grilled stuff =)

    Apr 22, 2009 | 11:38 am

     
  36. Marketman says:

    JCo, proscuitto from Segundo Piso/Terry’s at Podium or Makati should be okay, or Galileo Enoteca in Mandaluyong or Pasong Tamo. Santis is probably okay. The quality of the melons is more difficult for me in Manila… The zucchini dish goes well with most grilled or baked items… you might want to look back into the archives for prokchops patterned after ones we had in Greece… easy and delicious. jade186, prosciutto and fresh figs… superb. Or figs with bacon baked in the oven, also super yummy!

    Apr 22, 2009 | 12:02 pm

     
  37. suzette says:

    i looove this combo!

    Apr 26, 2009 | 12:40 pm

     
 

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