sharing (Italian) food to enjoy life

Archive for October, 2009

The refrigerator – The enemy of taste

Posted by Jim Carfrae on October 22, 2009

retro fridgeFor hundreds of years the coldest thing a prosciutto ever saw was a cantina under the front porch. A cold beer or glass of white wine are refreshing, but really need to warm up a bit if you want to appreciate the taste.

The same is true for prosciutto. Simply taking it out of the fridge 15 minutes before you serve it will bring out the aromas and allow everyone to enjoy the full taste.


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How I tarnished the classic

Posted by Jim Carfrae on October 21, 2009

The classicProsciutto  is probably served most often with melon. I have done so many times, usually wrapping melon balls or cubes in prosciutto and securing with a toothpick. And so far to almost universal acclaim.

Recently I had the classic Italian perspective explained to me, and – surprise, surprise – it makes sense.  After spending close to a year carefully dry curing the prosciutto, it becomes like a sponge if there is any moisture around.  Melon is mostly water.  When I wrapped the prosciutto around the melon, I eliminated months of dry curing.

Last time out I created an elegantly draped pile of prosciutto with cantelope and figs around the outside – no touching.  I suggested people alternate bites, I do think the smiles were a little bigger.

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Why Prosciutto?

Posted by Jim Carfrae on October 20, 2009

“pro-shoo’tõ”, ask for it sliced thin at the deli.  Share it and it will taste even better. 


So what exactly is Prosciutto? Why does it taste so good?

Prosciutto is a ham that has been dry aged for 9 to 18 months, depending on the size of the ham.  It is a process of salting and aging in an environment that matches the four seasons of Northern Italy. 

The taste is simple, sophisticated and intense.  The salt gradually penetrates the entire ham and the water leaves it.  The aging brings out the true taste of the ham in all its glory.

How should I share it?

Stay tuned …

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