Cantaloupe with prosciutto, or as the Italian called it prosciutto e melone. The epitome of summer.
Fresh and chilled, sweet cantaloupe with salty Italian prosciutto. My mouth is watering just writing these words.
With just a few ingredients and absolutely no cooking, this prosciutto and melon appetizer is one of the easiest dishes to make.
Growing up, it was the summer months’ ritual to select and enjoy the sweetest cantaloupe. Whether it was breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, or dinner, we always had a fresh cantaloupe.
My dad was the master of selecting the right one and passed down the ritual to me.
To him, it was a magical moment when your sense of smell approached the melon, pressed on the green indentation, and he smelled it.
You could see if enchantment of doing this summer task. He took a lot of pride and happiness in presenting the melon at the table.
Of course, we all love it, and it was gone before we could say “enjoy!’
In this Article
- When did melon and prosciutto originate?
- What is prosciutto crudo or raw, and can you eat raw prosciutto?
- Who invented prosciutto?
- What is the difference between prosciutto and Prosciutto di Parma?
- What is another name for cantaloupe?
- Is Cantaloupe the healthiest fruit?
- How to select the perfect cantaloupe or melon?
- How to make cantaloupe and prosciutto with a few easy steps and tips
- Tips and options,
- More recipes you will love
- Cantalope with Prosciutto – A summer tradition
When did melon and prosciutto originate?
Melon can be traced back to Medieval times, which was considered a dangerous fruit due to its cold and juicy nature. A counterbalance was created by adding something dry and warm to be eaten alongside.
The cured ham was chosen in Italy; the combination has been gracing tables for centuries.
The prosciutto Crudo was not invented until a few centuries later by Pellegrino Artusi, which is referred to as the father of modern Italian cuisine.
What is prosciutto crudo or raw, and can you eat raw prosciutto?
I know the question is a bit ambiguous, but when people hear that prosciutto Crudo is a raw ham, they back away from thinking that it is not cooked.
However, it is “cooked” in a different matter.
To make prosciutto crudo, you need a high-quality pork leg. This meat is covered in salt, a natural preservative, and let to rest for a few weeks, sometimes months.
Hence, this process is called dry-cured.
During this time, the salt draws out blood and moisture, which prevents bacteria from entering the meat. Therefore that is why it is ok and safe to eat it raw.
Who invented prosciutto?
The Celtic peoples in Northern Italy first started preserving pork with salt.
Later the Romans began air curing.
Historians can trace the first evidence of the prosciutto taking place at the market in San Daniele as far back as 1063.
What is the difference between prosciutto and Prosciutto di Parma?
While the prosciutto can be made in any region, the prosciutto di Parma can only be made exclusively in Parma. Parma is a city located in the northern Italian region of Emiglia-Romagna.
Emiglia-Romagna is rich in culinary history and cuisine and its contribution to Italian food culture.
Prosciutto di Parma is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) food, meaning that it can only be produced in Parma and is recognized as one of the finest hams in the world.
What is another name for cantaloupe?
Melon, Rock melon, muskmelon, winter melon, sweet melon, or spanspek.
Is Cantaloupe the healthiest fruit?
In actuality, melon is one of the healthiest and most versatile fruit.
Rich in Folic acid, calcium, zinc, copper, iron, vitamin K, niacin, choline, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.
Cantaloupes are 90% water and very low in carbs.
However, because our body digests it slowly, it will not make our sugar spike; therefore a great pick for people with diabetes.
How to select the perfect cantaloupe or melon?
To select the perfectly ripe and sweet melon, here are a few tips:
- Look for tan cantaloupe with light green lines across. Steer away from any brown or soft spots.
- It should be firm.
- At the stem part, you should be able to smell the fragrant sweet smell of melon. My dad used to press it with his thumb slightly and smell it.
How to make cantaloupe and prosciutto with a few easy steps and tips
- Cut the melon or cantaloupe alongside one of the light green partitions.
- With the help of a spoon, remove all the seeds and filaments in the cavity of the melon.
- Turn the melon on the flat surface facing your cutting board.
- With your knife, slice alongside the green lines to make your wedges.
- With a smaller knife, remove the outer peel.
- Lay your prosciutto slice over the melon and wrap it around.
Tips and options,
If your melon is relatively large, you may want to cut your wedges in half. As a result, provide for the prosciutto accordingly.
Therefore, all the slices should be equal, and of course, it is at your discretion if you want to wrap more prosciutto around your melon. But one slice should suffice.
However, add a few drops of olive oil or balsamic vinegar. Both of those steps are optional. Balsamic reduction is just excellent too.
Serve it on a pretty platter and add some basil leaves around it.
This classic Italian recipe is perfect for summer.
More recipes you will love
Cantalope with Prosciutto – A summer tradition
- 1 cantalope, sliced in 8 wedges
- 8 slices prosciutto, crudo or Parma
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- Prepare the cantaloupe by cutting it in half. Remove all the seeds with a spoon. Then cut each half into wedges and peel them
- Wrap thinly sliced prosciutto around cantaloupe and arrange on a serving platter.
- Serve immediately or chill for a few hours until ready to enjoy.
- You can drizzle some olive oil or a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Add a couple of basil leaves to the serving platter. The basil leaves a pop of color and fresh aroma, however optional.
Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.
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