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The Pros of Prosciutto

Becky Luigart-Stayner
See the Italian ham shine in these recipes.

Quality ingredients make flavorful meals gloriously easy to prepare. Consider the classic Italian appetizer of peak-season melon wrapped with paper-thin ribbons of prosciutto. This specialty Italian ham complements the melon's natural sweetness with a rich and savory flavor that elevates the simple dish from good to extraordinary.

Unlike American ham, prosciutto isn't smoked, but rather air-dried and cured with salt and seasonings. The meat is pressed, resulting in smooth, thin slices. It tastes wonderful alone or particularly sublime paired with melon or figs. Added to cooked foods such as pasta or vegetables, it adds a burst of rich flavor. But make sure to add it to cooked dishes at the last minute; over-cooking will cause it dull the flavor and toughen the meat.