At various places in this book I make reference to this appetizer. It is a classic combination of the juicy and sweet with the dry and salty, so your taste buds come alive really well. It is a very tasty appetizer and simple to make. All you need is half a pound of a top quality proscuitto ham, sliced very thin, and a very ripe cantaloupe and some wooden toothpicks.
When you buy the ham look for a price of around $17 per pound. The cheaper brands simply aren’t worth buying. For the cantaloupe, if you cannot find a very ripe one then take the best one the store has home and let it sit out on a counter for a few days to finish ripening. Then refrigerate it before making the appetizer.
Even the best proscuitto ham will have some amount of fat in or around each slice. Use a sharp knife and cut each slice of the ham to eliminate the fat. Then cut or tear each ham slice into crudely shaped pieces roughly three to four inches long and about one inch wide or less.
Process the cantaloupe to make bite size pieces that, due to the shape of the cantaloupe, will be like curved trapezoidal prisms that have a volume from ½ to ¾ of a cubic inch.
Each piece of melon is wrapped with one of the ham pieces and the two ends of the ham are secured to the narrower top area of the melon piece with a wooden toothpick, making the toothpick stand roughly vertical. Put the finished pieces on an appetizer type of serving dish or tray.
This appetizer is best served cold so you may want to cover the dish/tray lightly with some plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator for an hour or two before your guests arrive.
Serve this appetizer cold. Some light-tasting crackers go well with it, as do some small ½ inch square pieces of a good provolone cheese and some kalamata or oil cured olives. Also, a nice medium dry white wine like Pinot Grigio, chilled, is appropriate.