Parma Ham and Melon

The Experience:

I received a number of cookbooks from my maternal grandmother upon her passing.  One of them, Joanna Percival’s Classic Recipes, had an entry for “Parma Ham and Melon” that sounded quite intriguing.  But what was Parma Ham???

The book was published in 1978 and has all sorts of odd terms that are no longer in use (if they ever were).  Castor sugar?  Sponge fingers? Single cream?

To assist me in the translations, a quick call to my daughter (who had worked in a couple of restaurants that I would consider “nicer”) got me a little closer to my goal.

“I’ve never heard of it either.  Maybe their talking about Prosciutto”

I used the Prosciutto that they sell at Walmart (Daniele brand, I believe) and a very ripe, sweet cantaloupe.  The first bite was odd and took some getting used to.  Also I think I used too large a piece of cantaloupe and too small a piece of ham.  I found that a small, 1 inch cube of melon worked best wrapped with 2 or 3  layers of prosciutto.

I have been eating prosciutto for a couple of years now, but always felt that while VERY flavorful,  it was a bit too salty to enjoy by itself.  Coupling it with the sweet, cool cantaloupe was amazing.  It enhanced the flavors of both while slightly off-setting the saltiness of the ham.

The Recipe:

Melon (cut slices into 1 inch blocks)

Prosciutto (cut one slice in half lengthwise)

Wrap each block 2-3 times.  For presentation as appetizers, wrap ham to form a “cone” around each melon piece.  Arrange around dish and place extra pieces of ham between melon slices .  Decorate with black olives. Enjoy.

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